Aug 10, 2022; Denver, Colorado, USA; St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Paul DeJong (11) watches his ball on a double in the fifth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
The St. Louis Cardinals aren’t a team with many bad contracts, but these three players in particular are making far more than they’ve shown to be worth.
The St. Louis Cardinals are a team that’s very smart with how they spend their money. Their two highest-paid players are Paul Goldschmidt and Nolan Arenado, who just so happen to be two of the best players in all of baseball. Goldschmidt won the MVP and Arenado was an MVP finalist, yet both players are probably underpaid based on other deals players have gotten. Goldschmidt isn’t even making $30 million annually!
St. Louis made a big signing this offseason, signing Willson Contreras to a five-year deal to replace Yadier Molina. Five years for a catcher, especially one over 30 likely won’t age well, but Contreras is only making $10 million this season, which is obviously a steal.
While they have some good money deals on their team, there are three players who are, because of bad contracts, essentially stealing money from their team.
1. Paul DeJong wouldn’t be on the Cardinals if he wasn’t making a ton of money
In 2018, the Cardinals signed Paul DeJong to a six-year $26 million dollar deal. This followed an impressive rookie season that saw the shortstop finish as the NL Rookie of the Year runner-up t The deal included team options in 2024 and 2025 for $12.5 million and $15 million respectively. It looked like a good deal at the time but has aged very poorly.
DeJong hit 30 homers and was an All-Star in 2019, but that’s just about all of the production St. Louis has received since inking this extension.
Since that season, DeJong has slashed .196/.280/.351 with 28 home runs and 95 RBI in 235 games. Last season he hit .157 with six home runs in 77 games. He was so bad to the point where he was sent down to the minors to try and get something out of him.
DeJong is making $9.1 million dollars this season and is not even going to be the primary backup infielder for the Cardinals. If he wasn’t making the money he was making, I’m almost certain he wouldn’t even be on the team anymore. He won’t be after this season.