Friday, June 14, 2024

Paul DeJong Turning Into Trade Chip Is A Big Win For White Sox


The White Sox made the polarizing decision to let former face of the franchise Tim Anderson walk out the door this offseason and bring in veteran Paul DeJong to replace him. The organization received scrutiny for their decision, but they made the right choice. DeJong has exceeded expectations this season and has been so productive that he is now a legitimate trade deadline chip. He will be among the best middle infielders on the trade market, representing a big win for the White Sox organization.

DeJong’s Impressive 2024 Campaign

DeJong ranks third among all MLB shortstops in home runs entering the day, trailing only superstars Gunnar Henderson and Corey Seager. He also ranks sixth in slugging percentage and ninth among shortstops in OPS and has gotten better as the season goes on. DeJong has an .899 OPS in June compared to a .757 OPS in May and a .672 OPS in March and April. His sweet spot%, hard-hit%, and barrel% are above average, as is his 112 OPS+. DeJong does not rank as favorably with the glove, but he has a reputation for being a quality defender. 2024 has been one of the best seasons of his eight-year MLB career.

Bargain Contract

DeJong’s contract is also partially why he is an appealing trade candidate. He signed a one-year/$1.75 million contract with the White Sox this past offseason, essentially pennies for an MLB team. He is a cheap, low-risk addition for any team that acquires him. Established rental players traded at the deadline sometimes have big contracts, a deterrent for smaller market teams looking to acquire them. That is not an issue as far as DeJong is concerned. He is cheap; any team can take on his contract without issue.

Potential Landing Spots For DeJong

Several teams are logical landing spots for DeJong. The Guardians have gotten minimal production offensively out of shortstop and could use his power. The Rays fall into a similar category, as do the Braves and Diamondbacks to some degree. Virtually any team looking for additional power from their middle infield is a logical landing spot for DeJong, whether he is a starter or bench player for his new team. It is also worth noting that he has some experience playing second base as well. 

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Win/Win Situation

The White Sox likely will not get a big return for DeJong given his relatively pedestrian track record and the fact that he is a rental. Yet getting even a lotto ticket prospect for him would be a win. After all, he signed a one-year deal to be a placeholder in a lost season. It was not a guarantee that he would stay on the roster this long, let alone turn into a trade chip. Given his season, a contending team will improve their infield depth by acquiring his services. In exchange, the White Sox will get a young player who could be part of the future. It is truly a win/win scenario, and it sure looks like signing DeJong achieved the result Chris Getz was hoping for when he brought him in.

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