Image credit: Paul DeJong (Photo by Scott Kane/Getty Images)
In an attempt to bolster their infield depth the Blue Jays acquired Paul DeJong from the Cardinals on Tuesday in exchange for minor league reliever Matt Svanson. An all-star in 2019, DeJong has dealt with injuries and ineffectiveness at the plate over the last three seasons. He’ll be asked to provide power off the bench, sure-handed defense in the middle infield and the ability to platoon against lefthanded pitching. This move helps to improve an already impressive positional group with a deep bench and above-average offensive contributors throughout the lineup.
In return the Cardinals added another minor league pitcher multiple years away from Rule 5 draft eligibility. Svanson was recently promoted to Double-A but was traded prior to making an appearance with New Hampshire.
BLUE JAYS ACQUIRE
Paul DeJong, SS
Following his all-star turn in 2019, DeJong has struggled and spent time in and out of the starting lineup. He’s been the primary starter for the Cardinals at shortstop this season, hitting 13 home runs but providing below-average overall production offensively. DeJong’s struggles are a product of his overly aggressive approach at the plate, as his 33.2% chase rate often leads to whiffs out of the zone. He is an above-average defender at shortstop and has rated as one of the top 30 defenders in the major leagues this season. He will provide the Blue Jays with power off the bench as well as plus defense in the middle infield. His production against lefthanded pitching is strong—he’s hit .266/.368/.453 against lefthanders this season.
Matt Svanson, RHP
Drafted by the Blue Jays in the 13th round of the 2021 draft out of Lehigh, Svanson has spent the last two seasons between Low-A and High-A. He mixes four pitches but primarily uses a fastball at 92-94 mph and a slider at 83-85 mph with heavy sweep. He shows excellent command of his fastball with a near 70% strike rate this season and does a good job of missing bats and generating chases with his slider. He will mix in a cutter and curveball at times. Svanson is a relief prospect capable of slotting into the upper-minors depth chart for the Cardinals.