Jays add SS DeJong from Cardinals after Bichette injury
TORONTO — Shortstop Paul DeJong was acquired by the Toronto Blue Jays in a deal with the St. Louis Cardinals hours before Tuesday's trade deadline.
The swap was announced a day after all-star shortstop Bo Bichette left Toronto's 4-2 loss to the Baltimore Orioles when he appeared to injure his right knee.
Toronto also got cash considerations from the Cardinals, sending pitching prospect Matt Svanson, 24, to St. Louis in return.
The Blue Jays had not announced the extent of Bichette's injury as of Tuesday afternoon. The Blue Jays designated outfielder Jordan Luplow for assignment to make room for DeJong on the 40-man roster.
Major League Baseball's deadline is set for 6 p.m. ET, with Toronto general manager Ross Atkins scheduled to speak with media around 6:45 p.m. about the DeJong deal and any other moves the team may make.
A two-time all-star, Bichette leads Toronto with a .321 average this season and 17 home runs. It's the highest average in the American League and fourth best in Major League Baseball.
"He's our best player, so we're waiting a lot more anxiously than you guys are," said pitcher Chris Bassitt after taking the loss Monday. "You have to have the next man up mentality but, overall, it's not a good thing for us."
DeJong has 13 home runs, 32 runs-batted-in and a .233 batting average in 81 games this season.
The 29-year-old has played his entire seven-year career so far with the Cardinals, who drafted him in the fourth round of the MLB draft in 2015.
In 2019, DeJong hit a career-high 30 home runs and 78 RBIs and was named a MLB all-star.
The Blue Jays designated outfielder Jordan Luplow for assignment to make room for DeJong on the 40-man roster.
It's the third trade between Toronto and St. Louis in two weeks.
Left-handed reliever Genesis Cabrera was acquired from St. Louis on July 21 for minor-league catcher Sammy Hernandez. Atkins noted before that deal that adding a lefty to his right-dominated bullpen would be one way to add depth.
Right-handed reliever Jordan Hicks was then added to Toronto's bullpen Sunday in a second deal with the Cardinals, sending right-handed pitching prospects Adam Kloffenstein and Sem Robberse to St. Louis in return.
Atkins spoke with media on Monday about the deal for Hicks and noted that the talks for Cabrera paved the way for the second deal.
"They're spending time on our organization, understanding where their values are on our players," said Atkins on the benefits of making several deals with the same team. "We've had success with them in the past and dealing with (Cardinals team president) John Mozeliak and their entire front office, so it certainly does help."