So much for the Paul DeJong Era with the Toronto Blue Jays.
DeJong had been acquired from the Cardinals on August 1, with minor league reliever Matt Svanson heading to St. Louis. As Bo Bichette had landed on the Injured List, the Blue Jays needed to do something to cover the position. DeJong had rebounded from a horrendous 2022 campaign to be useful with the Cardinals, making him a worthwhile gamble.
Toronto Blue Jays let Paul DeJong go after 18 days
That gamble lasted for 18 days. DeJong reverted back to his 2022 self in Toronto, with just three singles in 44 plate appearances, striking out 18 times without a walk. Bichette, meanwhile, was working his way back from his knee injury and was ready to rejoin the team on Saturday. That ended DeJong’s tenure in Toronto as he was designated for assignment.
There was a time when DeJong appeared to be an emerging star. He had belted 25 homers and posted a 121 OPS+ as he finished second in the NL Rookie of the Year voting in 2017. After another solid showing the following year, DeJong was an All Star in 2019, belting 30 homers. However, he struggled during the pandemic shortened 2020 season and has not been able to return to form since.
It is possible that DeJong will get another chance. He had displayed those signs of life with the Cardinals before he was traded to Toronto. And it is possible that he had put too much pressure on himself to find success with the Blue Jays. DeJong’s career is not over. It is just a matter of finding a team willing to take a low cost gamble on him going forward.
The Toronto Blue Jays had Paul DeJong on their roster for 18 days. That was more than enough time to see he was not the answer.