On Monday morning, the Cardinals and shortstop Paul DeJong finalized a six-year extension worth $26 million. According to several sources - including USA Today’s Bob Nightengale - it is the largest deal for a player with less than one year of service time.
Shortstop Paul DeJong will receive $26 million over six years in his new contract extension with the #STLCards. It's largest deal for any player with less than one-year service. The news of deal being finalized first reported by @dgoold— Bob Nightengale (@BNightengale) March 5, 2018
As Derrick Goold reported, the deal also features two option years; these could bring the total value of the contract near $50 million.
DeJong debuted in late May last season and did not look back, as he quickly became the team’s everyday shortstop and one of the lineup’s premier power hitters. In 108 games, DeJong smashed 25 home runs with a 122 wRC+, helping equate to a 3.0 WAR. DeJong finished second in National League Rookie of the Year voting to Dodgers All-Star Cody Bellinger.
And with his 2017 season, DeJong is already rated as the seventh-best shortstop in baseball by MLB Network.
The deal with DeJong continues a trend the Cardinals have built over the last handful of years. St. Louis extended the contract of Allen Craig in the spring of 2013, Matt Carpenter in 2014, Kolten Wong in 2016, and Stephen Piscotty around the season opener of last year. These deals have been (very) team friendly from a financial standpoint and give the player a chance for long-term stability, shall he produce.
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