Cardinals SS Paul DeJong agrees to MLB-record 6-year, $26M extension

Second-year shortstop Paul DeJong has agreed to a record extension with the Cardinals, the team announced Monday afternoon.

The six-year, $26 million extension is the largest ever for a player with less than one year of MLB service, surpassing the six-year, $25 million deal shortstop Tim Anderson signed with the White Sox in 2017.

That said, much of Crawford’s current value comes from his defense: MLB Pipeline named Crawford part of the 2018 All-Defense Team, while current projections peg him as an average- to above-average defensive shortstop (despite a less-than-great showing in 2018). Though Crawford fielded just 55 innings at shortstop in 2017, scouting reports indicate that his floor is as a solid defender at shortstop.

But while defense may be Crawford’s signature, the real potential lies in Crawford’s power. Despite hitting for only a .086 ISO in his MLB debut last season and a .121 in his MiLB career, Crawford has displayed flashes of power, most recently in the second half of last season in AAA, mashing .287/.385/.513 in his last 195 PA at AAA, good for a .226 ISO.

Not good news out of Mariners this morning. Tests show strained right oblique for Ben Gamel and he’ll be out estimated 4-6 weeks. Opening Day is 3 1/2 weeks away.

Gamel, who is one of the best defensive outfielders in the game, hit .275 with 11 home runs, 27 doubles, five triples and 59 RBIs in his first full season in the big leagues.

He was injured Friday during batting practice and thought it was just a “tweak,” the Seattle Times reported. Results from an MRI on Saturday revealed the injury was worse than initially expected.

The Mariners, who went 78-84 last season, are already thin in the outfield with right fielder Mitch Haniger dealing with hand tendinitis and versatile backup Guillermo Heredia recovering from offseason shoulder surgery. Former Marlins infielder Dee Gordon (now slated to play center field in Seattle) is the only healthy starter as the Mariners might have to turn to middle infielders Andrew Romine and Taylor Motter to fill in while waiting on Gamel, Heredia and Haniger to return.
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