The St. Louis Cardinals and shortstop Paul DeJong agreed to a six-year extension worth $26 million on Monday, shattering the previous record for the highest guarantee made to a player with less than a full year of service time, per MLB Trade Rumors. The deal includes two options that could push its overall value north of $50 million:

The 24-year-old DeJong finished second in Rookie of the Year voting in 2017 by hitting .285/.325/.532 with 25 home runs across 443 plate appearances. Those marks are even more impressive when one considers they came after just a 48-game stint in Triple-A.

It's at least a little shocking that the Cardinals would commit to DeJong, given he wasn't a top prospect or someone who was expected to perform as well as he did entering last season. St. Louis already controlled DeJong's rights for the next six seasons regardless, and he wouldn't have been eligible for arbitration until after the 2020 campaign (and not for free agency until after 2023). The Cardinals, then, are making a bet that he's worth locking in now.

Even with a good '17 effort, it's fair to say DeJong has questions he needs to answer heading forward. One such concern is whether he'll be able to maintain the power output necessary to overcome his strikeout-and-pop-up-heavy ways -- tendencies that will threaten his ability to post a high average. DeJong wasn't receptive to walking last season, either, so his offensive profile would seem prone to variance that a more well-rounded player might not experience.

Nonetheless, the Cardinals seem to believe DeJong is worth the gamble. Best-case scenario: he's a starting-caliber shortstop with big pop who is underpaid for the duration of the deal; worst-case: he's a well-off bench or fringe option who cashed in on a big rookie effort. Which one will it be? We'll find out.