The Toronto Blue Jays announced a pair of roster moves ahead of their game Saturday versus the Cincinnati Reds. Starting shortstop Bo Bichette was reinstated from the injured list and veteran infielder Paul DeJong, only acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals at the trade deadline, was designated for assignment. Both moves were announced on the team's Twitter account.
Bichette, 25, last played on July 31 because of patellar tendinitis. He appeared in two games at the Triple-A level as part of a rehab assignment, collecting four hits in five at-bats, including a home run. Prior to going on the shelf, Bichette had hit .321/.352/.494 with 17 home runs and 26 additional extra-base hits. His contributions had been worth an estimated 4.1 Wins Above Replacement in 106 games, according to Baseball Reference's calculations.
"I checked all the boxes. Ran good, felt good moving around at short, swing felt good," Bichette told reporters on Thursday night.
DeJong, 30, was obtained from the Cardinals on Aug. 1, or the day after Bichette suffered his injury, in exchange for right-handed prospect Matt Svanson. Toronto's hope was that he could serve as an insurance policy in case Bichette missed a large swath of time. That didn't go as planned.
Whereas DeJong had enjoyed a bit of a career resurgence prior to the deal, posting a 93 OPS+ with 13 home runs in 81 games with St. Louis, his performance fell apart during his brief time as a member of the Blue Jays. Indeed, in 13 games he went 3 for 44 with 18 strikeouts and no walks. DeJong's .068/.068/.068 slash line resulted in a -62 OPS+.
DeJong is in the final year of the guaranteed portion of his contract. His pact did include team options for both the 2024-25 seasons (each valued at more than $12 million). Given Saturday's move, it's fair to write those options will not be exercised.