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Cardinals sign Paul DeJong to six-year, $26 million extension


Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that the St. Louis Cardinals have agreed to an extension with shortstop Paul DeJong. It’s for six years and $26 million. There are two option years after that — presumably team options — which could bring the total to more than $50 million.

DeJong, who played in 108 games in his rookie 2017 campaign wouldn’t be eligible for arbitration until after the 2020 season, and could’ve simply been renewed for less than a million bucks per through then, following three more years in which he’d get incremental raises through arbitration. As such, it’s not hard to understand why he’d jump at the $26 million. Of course, if he continues to perform like he did during his rookie season — he hit .285/.325/.532 with 25 homers (121 OPS+) while finishing second in the Rookie of the Year Award balloting — the Cardinals will have a pretty massive bargain on their hands, including the option to buy out two of what would’ve been his post-free agency years at a bargain rate.

Such is the calculation a young player makes when facing team control for the first six years of his big league career. It’s hard to pass up that kind of money when you can’t tell the future. It’s also the case, though, that a player will have left a lot of money on the table if they fulfill even a portion of their potential. DeJong aired on the side of caution, which is totally understandable. And now the Cardinals have a cost-controlled shortstop for the next six years.

Justin Turner suffers broken wrist after being hit by a pitch

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Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner left Monday’s Cactus League game against the Athletics after he was hit by a pitch. He went for X-rays, revealing that he suffered a broken wrist, Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times reports. Shaikin adds that Turner is unlikely to return before May, noting that Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman missed six weeks with a similar injury last year and Astros outfielder George Springer missed nine weeks in 2015.

Needless to say, this is a huge loss for the Dodgers. Last year, Turner hit .322/.415/.530 with 21 home runs and 71 RBI in 543 plate appearances, helping the Dodgers reach the World Series. He made the All-Star team for the first time in his career and finished eighth in NL MVP balloting.

Thankfully, the Dodgers have some versatile players on the roster. Logan Forsythe could move from second base to third, giving Chase Utley more playing time at second. Enrique Hernandez could man the hot corner as well. Chris Taylor has played some third base, or he could shift to second base in Forsythe’s stead. The club should shed some light on how it plans to move forward following Turner’s injury.