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White Sox sign Paul DeJong to one-year deal

White Sox

The Chicago White Sox recently added short stop Paul DeJong on a one-year deal; DeJong will replace Tim Anderson at the position.

“Well, you know it’s piece by piece, it really is,” said Sox GM Chris Getz via MLB.com at the General Managers Meetings in early November.

“In setting out to really improve our defensive play, it will allow our pitchers to attack the zone and be more efficient. We need to become more athletic, and that speaks to the improved defense we hope—and obviously running the bases, taking extra bases, those types of things.”

A native of Orlando, Florida, DeJong played baseball at Illinois State University (ISU) during his collegiate career.

He was selected by the Cardinals in the fourth round of the 2015 MLB draft. He made his MLB debut in 2017 with the Cardinals, and led National League (NL) shortstops in home runs that season with 25.

DeJong was an All Star in 2019, and led NL shortstops in fielding percentage, assists, putouts, and double plays. Batting .261 with 13 home runs and 36 RBIs, DeJong was selected to represent the Cardinals at the All-Star Game in Cleveland.

He also finished the 2019 regular season slashing .233/.318/.762 with 30 home runs and 78 RBIs over 159 games.

On defense, he had the best fielding percentage of all major league shortstops (.989). Per Baseball-Reference.com, he led all National League fielders in defensive Wins Above Replacement (WAR) with 3.3 and assists (435), and NL shortstops in putouts (211) and double plays turned (119).

Following the season, DeJong was nominated for his first Gold Glove Award. According to MLB Trade Rumors, DeJong, 30, was a buy-low move for the Sox, as he has struggled badly in recent seasons.

The short stop had an incredible debut with the Cardinals in 2017, hitting 25 home runs in his first 108 major league games.

His 28-percent strikeout rate and 4.7-percent walk rate were not great, but his overall line of .285/.325/.532 translated to a wRC+ of 123.

The Cardinals hoped that DeJong could be their shortstop for many years to come, signing him to a six-year, $26MM extension prior to 2018.

Unfortunately for the Cardinals, DeJong’s production slid downhill from the moment that deal was signed. His wRC+ dropped to 103 in 2018, then 101, 87, 84 and 54 through 2022.

Prior to signing with the White Sox, DeJong previously played for the St. Louis Cardinals, Toronto Blue Jays and San Francisco Giants.

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Sports Editor at Chicago Crusader Newspaper

Joseph Phillips is the Sports Editor for the Chicago Crusader Newspaper. He is a Chicago native, who has been a sports writer for over 17 years. He also hosts the SC Media News and Sports Network Q&A radio show on WHPK 88.5 FM Chicago.

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