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David DeJesus Rumors
Let's take a quick trip around the National League …
- The Nationals acquired David DeJesus from the Cubs yesterday, only to place him promptly on waivers, leading to speculation about the team's intentions. Whatever the Nats do, the Cubs are likely only to receive "a nominal amount of cash" back in the deal, reports ESPN Chicago's Bruce Levine (via Twitter).
- Osceola County has decided not to go forward with Washington's planned $98MM spring training complex in Kissimmee, Florida, leaving the club looking for other options. Pete Kerzel of MASNsports.com has all the details on the team's prospects for a new spring home. For now, he says, the organization is content to continue working out of Space Coast Stadium in Viera.
- With the Nats visiting Wrigley to take on the Cubs, president and GM Mike Rizzo talked to Levine about the work of the Chicago front office. The Chicago native credited president Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer with being "so aggressive in the international market place." He explained that the new international spending rules "have put the small-market teams on a comparable level with the richer clubs," creating "a true scouting system" in which "the teams with the better scouts will get the better players." Rizzo analogized the Cubs' efforts to the Nationals' own aggressive, scouting-based spending before the team emerged last season.
- Recent call-up Andrew Lambo of the Pirates has new representation, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes has learned. The 25-year-old outfielder has chosen Beverly Hills Sports Council to replace his previous agency, Wasserman Media Group. As always, you can reference MLBTR's Agency Database to keep tabs on players' representation.
- One of the keys to the Bucs' successes this year — low-priced off-season acquisition Francisco Liriano — has excelled due to changes in his delivery that have improved his fastball command, explains Travis Sawchik of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. Liriano's 2014 option appears likely to vest, and Pittsburgh will surely not complain about returning him to their rotation.
Here is Monday's list of notable players who have been placed on revocable trade waivers…
- The Nationals acquired David DeJesus from the Cubs earlier today and "almost immediately" put the outfielder on waivers, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports. DeJesus' claiming period is up on Wednesday. Rival executives speculate that the Nats are trying to rid themselves of the approximately $2.5MM remaining on DeJesus' contract ($975K in salary, $1.5MM in a buyout of his 2014 option). This could be an attempt by the Nats to flip DeJesus, simply a procedural move or perhaps they never expected the Cubs to accept their original waiver claim on DeJesus in the first place. Amanda Comak of the Washington Times (Twitter link) opines that perhaps the Nats claimed DeJesus to keep him away from another contender.
- The Angels placed left-hander Jason Vargas and shortstop Erick Aybar on waivers, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal reports (Twitter link). The claiming period for both players expires on Wednesday. Vargas was dealt to Anaheim from Seattle in exchange for Kendrys Morales last December and has posted a 3.92 ERA, 6.1 K/9 and 2.00 K/BB ratio in 101 IP in 2013, though he spent almost two months on the DL recovering from a blood clot in his left armpit. Vargas has roughly $1.5MM still owed to him from his $8.5MM salary for the season and the southpaw is a free agent this winter. He could make a cheap pickup for a team looking for starting pitching depth during the pennant race, though Vargas' career road splits indicate that he struggles when he isn't at a pitcher-friendly ballpark like Angel Stadium or Safeco Field.
- Aybar signed a four-year, $35MM extension in April 2012 that covered the 2013-16 seasons and Aybar is hitting .282/.316/.380 in 417 PA in the first year of that new contract. Though the 29-year-old is known more for his solid glove (he won a Gold Glove in 2011), Aybar has a below-average -8.2 UZR.150 this season. The Cardinals had some interest in Aybar before the trade deadline but had no interest in giving up a top prospect in exchange for the veteran shortstop.
For a reminder on how revocable trade waivers and August trades work, check out MLBTR's August trades primer.
An August trade between two sub-.500, non-contending teams that involves a legitimate Major League talent is something of a rarity, yet that's what the Nationals and Cubs accomplished this afternoon when David DeJesus was sent to Washington for a player to be named later. Here are some of the follow-up notes about the swap and some reaction…
- Cubs GM Jed Hoyer spoke to reporters this afternoon (including Jesse Rogers of ESPN Chicago) and said that salary was the main factor in the trade. The trade will save the Cubs roughly $2.5MM — the approximately $975K left on DeJesus' 2013 salary and the $1.5MM buyout on his club option for 2014 (the option costs $6.5MM if exercised).
- Hoyer also noted that the Cubs would be interested in re-signing DeJesus if the Nats don't pick up the outfielder's option. As CSN Chicago's Patrick Mooney notes (via Twitter), there appears to be mutual interest from both sides in a DeJesus return to Wrigley Field.
- Nationals GM Mike Rizzo also spoke to the media, telling reporters (including CSN Washington's Mark Zuckerman) that DeJesus was acquired to improve the Nats' left-handed bench depth and that the move was made with the 2013 season still in mind. "We're going to take this thing one game at a time," Rizzo said. "But I certainly haven't given up on this season, and I think that with the talent level that we have on this ballclub that we still have a run left in us." The Nationals entered today's action 15.5 games behind the Braves in the NL East and 9.5 games behind the Reds for the last NL wild card spot. According to Baseball Prospectus' playoff odds calculations, Washington has just a 1.2% chance of reaching the postseason.
- Also from Zuckerman's piece, the Nats were interested in DeJesus before the July 31 trade deadline but couldn't work out a deal in time. This trade was worked out after the Cubs put DeJesus on waivers and the Nationals claimed him.
- USA Today's Bob Nightengale (via Twitter) thinks DeJesus' $6.5MM option is too expensive for the Nats to pick up this winter. I don't agree with Nightengale — despite what Rizzo says, the Nats have to be looking ahead to 2014. There would be no point in picking DeJesus up now just to let him walk in the offseason, unless Rizzo plans to flip DeJesus to a contender before the August 31 waiver trade deadline.
- The lack of bench production has been one of the underrated reasons for the Nationals' disappointing performance this season, Amanda Comak of the Washington Times writes, and DeJesus' acquisition is a step towards fixing that problem.
- Nationals manager Davey Johnson hinted to reporters (including MASNsports' Dan Kolko) that DeJesus might not receive much playing time over the rest of the season. The Nats already have Bryce Harper, Jayson Werth and Denard Span playing every day in the outfield and Johnson seems more keen to give any spare at-bats to younger players like Tyler Moore.
The Nationals have acquired David DeJesus from the Cubs in exchange for a player to be named later, the team has announced via press release. The Nationals reportedly claimed DeJesus off waivers before working out a trade with Chicago. In order to clear roster space for their newest acquisition, the Nationals released fellow outfielder Roger Bernadina.
The 33-year-old DeJesus is hitting .250/.330/.401 in 84 games (318 plate appearances) for the Cubs this season. While his overall batting line is solid, he's developed a significant platoon split in recent years and is hitting just .156/.224/.178 against lefties in a small sample of 45 plate appearances this season. DeJesus can play all three outfield positions, though The Fielding Bible isn't a fan of his work in center field, and Ultimate Zone Rating has considered his glove in center to be merely average over the course of his career. Both metrics praise his work at the outfield corners.
DeJesus has roughly $975K of his $4.25MM salary remaining this season and is under control via a $6.5MM club option for 2014. That option carries a $1.5MM buyout, so the Nationals will essentially have a $5MM decision on their hands in the offseason regarding DeJesus. Barring a significant injury, it seems likely that they'll exercise that option.
DeJesus originally signed a two-year, $10MM contract with the Cubs prior to the 2012 season. In 232 games with Chicago, he batted .258/.343/.403. Fangraphs pegs his value as a Cub at 3.1 wins above replacement, suggesting that despite his injuries, he was well worth the money the Cubs invested.
DeJesus is the second outfielder that the Nationals have acquired from the Cubs this summer, as Washington has already dealt for Scott Hairston. Chicago GM Jed Hoyer and president Theo Epstein have also moved Matt Garza, Alfonso Soriano, Scott Feldman, Steve Clevenger, Carlos Marmol and minor leaguer Ronald Torreyes in trades this summer.
Danny Knobler of CBS Sports was the first to report the trade (via his colleague Jon Heyman on Twitter). Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweeted that the trade came after Washington had claimed DeJesus on waivers.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.
Though the Cubs listened to offers for Jeff Samardzija at the deadline, they "never came close with any deal," GM Jed Hoyer reveals in a report by Bruce Levine of ESPNChicago.com. However, the club plans to explore a contract extension for their right-hander this winter, with Hoyer ranking it "very high" on the Cubs' priority list. MLBTR's Tim Dierkes examined the cost of locking up Samardzija earlier this week, placing the floor of such a deal in the range of the five-year, $55MM extension Matt Harrison inked with the Rangers this winter. More Thursday night Cubs links:
- The Cubs are likely to actively pursue trading Samardzija if they're unable to agree on an extension this winter, instead of merely listening, as they did this year, Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune reports. That matches an earlier report from Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The team is also expected to pick up David DeJesus' $6.5 million option, Sullivan says.
- DeJesus drew interest at the deadline, as did fellow outfielder Nate Schierholtz and pitcher James Russell, sources tell Jesse Rogers of ESPNChicago.com. "We thought we had a high but not unreasonably high price on some of the guys, but a lot of the guys we were being asked about we control going forward," Hoyer said, referencing DeJesus, Schierholtz and Russell. "In some ways it makes our winter potentially easier." The Northsiders have a say in where each of those players ends up next year, Rogers notes.
- The Cubs have had preliminary discussions on who they may end up placing on waivers with an eye toward an August deal, Hoyer says in an article by Carrie Muskat of MLB.com. However, the executive added that he believes teams with specific holes to fill were able to do so by putting together deals before the deadline.
29-year-old Cubs right fielder Nate Schierholtz is one of the better bats on the trade market. He deserves credit for his strong work this year against right-handed pitching, but it's also a weak market for bats. Schierholtz is under team control for 2014 as an arbitration eligible player, and MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz suggests a salary in the $4.2MM range. 33-year-old center fielder David DeJesus is another candidate to be moved today; he comes with a $6.5MM club option for 2014. DeJesus recently returned from a shoulder sprain. The latest on that pair as well as the Cubs' other trade chips…
- It looks like Schierholtz is staying put with the Cubs, tweets Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe.
Earlier Cubs Updates
- There's much more action on James Russell right now than Kevin Gregg, according to ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine (on Twitter).
- The Cubs expect to trade either Schierholtz or DeJesus, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, and DeJesus might be more likely. The Pirates are in on both.
- The Cubs appear more likely to trade Schierholtz than relievers Kevin Gregg or James Russell, tweets ESPN's Jayson Stark.
It's time for MLB to push the trade deadline from July 31st to a later date, opines Dave Cameron of Fangraphs. Cameron argues that with an expanded postseason, many teams are still holding out hope around this time of year that they are still in it and therefore they aren't selling. A new deadline would certainly take some getting used to, but the date has shifted over time. As you ponder Cameron's suggestion, here are some links from around the league…
- Braves pitcher Tim Hudson fractured his ankle against the Mets tonight as he was covering first base and the club announced that he will need to undergo season-ending ankle surgery. Before Hudson's injury, Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com noted that Atlanta had some interest in acquiring another starter.
- The Brewers have shipped off Francisco Rodriguez, but Danny Knobler of CBS Sports tweets that plenty of teams are still interested in their remaining bullpen arms such as John Axford and Mike Gonzalez. The Dodgers are among the interested parties, according to Knobler.
- Cubs outfielder David DeJesus is returning just in time to be showcased for the deadline, but club president Theo Epstein doesn't think he's going anywhere, writes Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune. However, he won't make any guarantees. "Does that make him untouchable?" Epstein said. "No, no one is untouchable, but we'll sit and weigh out the options as to what's best for the Cubs. Just because you may listen on somebody doesn’t mean you don’t appreciate everything he brings to the organization."
- Peter Gammons of the MLB Network reports that the Angels are receiving calls on lefty Scott Downs, who is a free agent at season's end (Twitter link). A deal is unlikely to happen, however, Gammons adds.
- One league executive told Jayson Stark of ESPN.com (via Twitter) that he has "no doubt" that the Phillies are buyers after talking to them.
Steve Adams contributed to this post.
- The Cubs aren't necessarily planning to trade David DeJesus, who they have signed through 2014, but they'll listen to offers. DeJesus could be a trade candidate in August, after he recovers from a shoulder injury.
- While the Rangers' 2011 decision to trade Chris Davis for Koji Uehara has recently received plenty of attention, Rosenthal notes that the Athletics also have a what-could-have-been in their recent history as well. The A's claimed Edwin Encarnacion from the Blue Jays in November 2010, then non-tendered him, and he ended up back with the Jays. Since then, he's hit 84 home runs.
- The Rangers might be interested in Michael Cuddyer if the Rockies wished to trade him, Rosenthal notes. The Rangers are reportedly on the lookout for a righty hitter, and Cuddyer would fit the bill.
- The Braves aren't looking for a top starter, Rosenthal writes, but they'd like to augment their bullpen.
Free agent and former Giants closer Brian Wilson has been training in Hawaii and could pitch for scouts near the beginning of August, ESPN's Buster Olney tweets. Wilson had Tommy John surgery in 2012 and has not pitched since last April. Here are more notes from around the National League.
- Giants outfielder Hunter Pence told Jim Bowden on Sirius XM MLB Network Radio (via Twitter) that while the club hasn't made him an offer in the last two months, he enjoys playing in San Francisco and would like to stay there. Pence avoided arbitration with the Giants prior to this season by agreeing to a one-year, $13.8MM deal and will be eligible for free agency for the first time this winter.
- Cubs outfielder David DeJesus' recent injury means he's unlikely to be headed out of Chicago by the trading deadline, and he's just fine with that, the Chicago Sun-Times' Gordon Wittenmyer reports. "I love Chicago. I love playing here," says DeJesus. "[I]f I can be a part of the team chancing over and bringing the winning feeling to Chicago … We’ve been playing some good baseball the last month. I want to be a part of it."
- Mets offseason acquisition Shaun Marcum will be shut down for the season due to an issue with his pitching hand, according to a report from Ed Coleman of WFAN that has been confirmed by Adam Rubin of ESPNNewYork.com (on Twitter). Even though the signing didn't pay off for the Mets, Rubin recently explained that incentives in the deal would have cost the club even more if he continued to pitch.
Zach Links contributed to this post.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports has a lengthy new article discussing All-Stars, some of the game's top young hitters and a plethora of hot stove info. Here are some highlights…
- Rival executives around the league are critical of the Mariners for rushing their top prospects, but Rosenthal notes that Nick Franklin has been more than up to the challenge, and Brad Miller earned his promotion with his minor league performance. Regarding the struggling Mike Zunino, GM Jack Zduriencik told Rosenthal: "We planned all along to get Mike to Seattle at some point in July … He wasn't expected to be a big contributor offensively if it was now, July, September … but he has held his own, and what he is receiving now will set him up for 2014 and beyond."
- Multiple scouts have questioned the work ethic of the Brewers' players, with one telling Rosenthal "there's a lot of quit on that team." Rosenthal writes that it isn't manager Ron Roenicke's fault that Ryan Braun, Corey Hart and Aramis Ramirez have been injured, but the negative reports could be an "ominous sign" for Roenicke. Rosenthal tweets a correction, noting that Roenicke is signed through 2014, not through 2013 as he initially reported.
- The Yankees aren't planning a fire sale, but if they did, they'd have some of the most attractive trade chips in the game. The Yankees could part with Joba Chamberlain and Phil Hughes, however, and Rosenthal adds Curtis Granderson's name to the mix, assuming the injured outfielder gets healthy in time.
- The Rays aren't looking to add a starting pitcher with both David Price and Alex Cobb likely to return in the near future. If the Rays make any moves at all, they'll be for impact players regardless of position.
- The Cubs are "all but certain" to trade pending free agents Matt Garza, Kevin Gregg and Scott Feldman, but they're not in a rush to deal Nate Schierholtz and David DeJesus, both of whom are controlled beyond 2013.