Cubs reach agreement with David DeJesus. How do you feel about it?

According to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports, the Cubs have signed outfielder David DeJesus to a 2 year deal for $10M with a club option for 2014.  This is someone I mentioned quite some time ago and most recently, in a response today on a question about Grady Sizemore.

DeJesus will be the everyday RF'er at this time.  He is a plus defender in either corner with good speed and a solid arm.  Offensively he's a good OBP guy (.356) lifetime with some pop.  His lifetime slugging percentage is .421.  Last year was a bit of a struggle offensively in a big park, hitting just .240 with 10 HRs.  He did hit .307, .281, and .319 the previous three seasons, so it's likely the Cubs see last year as an aberration.

A good signing, in my opinion, as he fits Epstein and Hoyer's stated desire to add defense, left-handed hitting, and athleticism.  His UZR was an outstanding 10 last season.  He's going to play a big part in run prevention and a solid role on offense.  I liken him to a Brian McRae type player.

According to Joel Sherman, "Epstein's Red Sox were near landing DeJesus in July '10, when he fractured wrist on Jeter inside-park HR, Epstein gets him now with Cubs."

At $5M per year, it's hard to beat this deal.  Even in an off year, DeJesus was a 2.2 WAR player, so the Cubs got great value here.

How do you feel about the signing?  Make sure to vote in our new poll on the right hand rail.

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  • 8 Year olds Dude!!!!

    Any of you disagree with this move I'll snatch your gun away from you stick it up your ass and pull the trigger till it goes "Click"

    Nobody fucks with David DeJesus.

    Needless to say, I love this move.

    Did you see Arguello, where Nick Cafardo thinks Bobby V might hire Rick Peterson as pitching coach. I think it here, it comes out there. The Sons of Sam Horn are calling. Good thing I'm loyal to you Arguello. Good thing indeed.

  • In reply to felzz:

    Are you saying (De)Jesus can't hit a curveball?

    Agreed. Just a solid signing, in my opinion.

    As for Bobby V, lots of spin going on in Boston. Wasn't in the 1st or 2nd round of interviews. First tried to get Farrell, then Sveum, and when neither worked out they went with the guy Lucchino and ownership wanted.

    I think he's a good manager, but as I've stated in the past, I think the big loser in this deal is Cherington.

  • LOL ... not sure if you can use the word "cuckold" to describe a GM ... but ...

    This is a wonderful first step!!! Reasonable money, solid numbers ... gotta like that he's a leadoff hitter.

    John ... during Kaplan's interview with TR yesterday did you see ALL the available seats in the bowl on the RF side? YEESH.

  • In reply to MoneyBoy:

    That's exactly where I'd put him in the lineup given our options right now. That OBP is solid and he can run, but he won't steal bases.

  • they gave him the same contract as byrd, 5 mil in the first year, 5 mil in the second year, 6.5 mil in the third year (if we pick it up).

    i like the deal a lot. the first good step in the right direction.

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    Agreed. Solid pickup at that price.

  • Great signing. Looks like Colvin is the odd man out here. So as of right now, should we project Soriano, Jackson and Dejesus in the outfield? Where does Byrd fit in?

  • In reply to Break The Curse:

    i think thats what the dejesus signing is hinting at. colvin will likely be traded along with either soriano or byrd, the remainder of the two will probably start in left. lets all pray that its byrd

  • In reply to Break The Curse:

    Byrd is insurance for Jackson in case he isn't ready to start. Otherwise, he's their 4th OF'er since he can play all OF spots and isn't all that expensive.

    As for Soriano, there's a tweet out there that the Cubs may be working on a deal.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    whos the tweet from, i havent seen that one?

  • In reply to jshmoran:

    It's from @injuryexpert, it says exactly this, "Looks like Cubs have firm grasp on a Soriano deal."

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    @injuryexpert, I should mention, is Will Carroll of Sports Illustrated.

  • In reply to Break The Curse:

    More than anything, I think it gives them the luxury of allowing Jackson to get a little more seasoning at AAA.

  • In reply to JB88:

    Agreed, but if Jackson's ready, the presence of Byrd won't stop him. Worst case scenario is that Byrd makes a great 4th outfielder.

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    Love the blog, John! Have been checking in daily now for several weeks and enjoy the positive, thoughtful vibe here!

    Like the Dejesus signing a lot. I'm a displanted Chicago native now in NW Arkansas and have adopted the Royals as my 2nd "local" team and liked what I've saw of him at Kaufmann in the past. As "Break the Curse" mentioned above, do you think this means Colvin for Ian Stewart is a more likely outcome now?

  • In reply to Bill Tucker:

    Thanks! I prefer thoughtful, positive vibe over a snarky one.

    I meant to address that Colvin question but missed it. I do think Colvin is the odd man out now and I think a trade for Stewart makes sense for both teams.

  • Agree DeJesus improves the outfield defense and adds a left handed bat to the lineup. That is progress.
    Trying to integrate the news of this signing with some of the ideas discussed in yesterday's post (Garza trade market and Soriano demand). Now the Cubs have more outfield depth and Soriano is definitely unneeded.
    Assuming there are limitations on the budget this year, should Cubs considering bundling Garza and Soriano in a trade to a big budget team (Yankees or Red Sox)? Make them take a larger share of the remaining money on Soriano contract than market bears, but allow them to give up a little less in terms of prospects for Garza. Then use the money gained by not eating part of the Soriano contract to pursue the Cuban outfielders and/or Asian pitchers.
    Basically the decision would be...are the Cuban outfielders better prospects than the minor leaguers offered by Rangers or Blue Jays in a proposed Garza trade?

  • In reply to Rosemary:

    I think if you do trade Garza and add players, you have to add players that add to his value, not subtract it like Soriano.

    My impression is that the goal is to get as many assets as possible if you trade Garza and I think Soriano would detract from that.

    As to the Cuban OF'er question, that's tough to answer, but my guess is that the Cubs would prefer to get pitchers than OF'ers.

  • Was thinking of him for the leadoff spot 'til you mentioned the lack of SB's; but then again, the Royals had him batting leadoff many times, and he does steal at least low double-digits every year. Him at 1 and Castro batting second gives plenty of hit-and-run opportunities (something that is sorely lacking from the Cubs during game time).

    As for trading Garza, I'd rather they didn't (who else are you going to build the rotation around in a couple years?), but if it came to it, go get Lawrie & Drabek from the Jays - young, multi-threats and anchorable (is that a word?).

    Just my 2 cents.

  • In reply to KillerK:

    I like Castro hitting 2nd because of his ability to make contact. If he develops a bit more power, hitting 3rd isn't out of the question.

    My sentiments exactly on Garza, if you can get yourself a bat or two and a couple of pitchers with some serious upside, you have to think about it. If not, I'm more than fine with keeping him.

    And making up words is completely within the rules here! I've done it myself a few times!

  • Beautiful signing, this is what the new management does, makes smart value decisions for players. DeJesus is even making a million a year less than he did last year on this 2 year deal. In the prime of his career, can really go get a ball, works the count, and plays and competes hard everyday. Lets get 15 more like him on the roster.
    And it never hurts to have a guy with Jesus in his name.

  • He's a nice fit. Not a star, but a piece in the puzzle. Keeping adding defense, pitching, OBP, and suddenly you start getting better baseball. Still a long way to go, but a good start.

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    Low risk, 5 mil per year. High reward if he has a good years offensively.

    He did have ugly looking offensive numbers last year but was well above average the previous 8 seasons. I'm sure Oakland had a little to do with it since he plays half his games there. I'm worried he was trying to hard to impress his second team. Kansas City and Oakland doesn't have the most pressure packed games. We'll see how he handles Wrigley.

    His defensive numbers career wise look awesome. 20 errors and 54 assists in 9 seasons in the outfield.

    All in all, I'm happy! Keep it up Theo.

  • In reply to Danny Guerra:

    I think we'll see numbers more in line to what he's done in his career. His defensive numbers are stellar whether you go by old metrics or new ones. The guy can go get it.

    It's possible the Cubs could have an outfield of Byrd, Jackson, and DeJesus which would be an outstanding upgrade defensively.

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    looks like a solid signing and a step in the right direction. However, looking at his career stats just now, I noticed he's only played more than 144 games once in his career, and that was in '07. Is that because of major injuries, minor injuries, or something else?

    Also, at 32, he's a little past his prime, but it's potentially only for 2 years. Hopefully someone will be ready to take over by then.

  • In reply to brober34:

    He's more of a stop gap guy. He fits the plan to be competitive in the short term while not sacrificing long term plans.

    He's had some minor injuries but nothing that would slow him down. He plays hard and sometimes it happens. Great observation, by the way.

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    It just occurred to me he may have done some platooning (or should). His splits show not much production against lefty's. Maybe a Byrd/DeJesus platoon would be just the thing.

  • In reply to brober34:

    I think if Byrd winds up as the 4th outfielder, he'll have some spot starts against lefties, but I Hoyer has gone on record saying he acquired DeJesus to pay everyday.

  • If they can't trade Soriano, I think they should keep him as a bat off the bench and play Jackson. Upgrading defense upgrades pitching.

  • In reply to SFToby:

    Really agree with that last line. I also agree Jackson should start. My thought on putting Soriano on the bench, though, is that you might as well just release him. With no defense or speed, and no ability to play anywhere at all except LF he's not going to make a good bench guy. He needs to be a DH somewhere who can occasionally play OF.

  • The more I think about this signing, the more I think that the Cubs are looking at Kelly Johnson for 2B. They need to add power somewhere and Johnson might allow them to have a lower power hitting RF, like DeJesus.

  • In reply to JB88:

    I guess we are losing power at 1B and 3B but Fukudome and DeJesus seem to be just about the same player to me. In other words, RF should be about the same as it was last year, just with a smaller price tag.

  • In reply to Still Love the Cubs:

    Regardless of what the Cubs do with Soriano, we are likely losing HRs in LF as well.

    The Cubs need to add some power, and adding a guy like Johnson would really allow them to sacrifice power at a corner slot (hello Chase Headley) or in RF with DeJesus. Add to that that Johnson is a good OBP guy and, for whatever reason, seemed to just have a miserable year with Arizona, and I think you have the recipe for a guy you could get on a 2-3 year deal for around $4-5MM per season (which, mind you, would be a great bargain given his 2.2 WAR season last year and would be the steal of the century if he put up another 5.9 WAR he had in 2010).

  • In reply to JB88:

    I'm definitely not against signing Kelly Johnson. i like the idea in fact.

    My only point was that DeJesus and Kosuke are the same player except that DeJesus is a little cheaper.

    I'm curious about 1B. I really am anxious to see if the FO thinks Lahair can handle it since this move with DeJesus pretty much guarantees he will be at 1B or playing in Japan next season.

  • Count me in on the Johnson idea. Nice offensive upgrade at 2B and doesn't hurt your defense.

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    JB88 - I had that same thought a little while ago. I hope the next move is Johnson at 2B.

  • I'd love for them to keep Colvin, working him in, bring up Jackson when he is ready, sign Cespedes, move Soriano, maybe play LaHair out there, maybe bring in another outfielder or Reed Johnson, & get rid of Byrd.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    I would be fine with a trade for Stewart too, moving Colvin if that's what Theo thinks is best.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    It may be best in terms of need. Colvin really looking like the odd man out and there's been no strong vote of confidence for him. At this point I won't be surprised if he's not a Cub come April.

  • In reply to ChiRy:

    The one thing I would say about keeping Byrd over Reed Johnson (as a 4th OF'er) is that if you have an injury, Byrd is more capable of being an everyday guy for an extended period of time. Also provides insurance if Jackson isn't ready. Right now I'm actually leaning toward keeping him for at least part of next season. Maybe a deadline deal once the Cubs are confident that Jackson can play everyday.

  • I can't say that I'm as enthusiastic with this signing as many here. Living in Kansas, I have the benefit (or misfortune) of being around Royals fans. The general consensus on DeJesus was that he was a decent ballplayer, but he doesn't really "fit" into any one lineup slot easily. He was a decent on-base guy, but mostly hit singles and didn't steal bases. They especially complained about his baserunning ability. It isn't that he lacks speed, per se, but that he has poor judgement on the base paths. I also question whether his arm is strong enough to play right field.

    I would be happier if this were a move to fill a hole in center field. A lefty bat with good defense, the ability to hit an occasional double, etc. I just feel that he doesn't have as much value as a corner outfielder. The comparison with Fukudome is probably fairly accurate, with a sacrifice on defense (DeJesus does not have as good of an arm), but a few more hits on offense. At least he's not getting $12 million per season to do that, I guess...

  • In reply to TheSinisterUrge:

    Thanks for the inside scoop. He's bound to have some negatives and getting him for $4.5M probably emphasizes that. I'm most excited about the defense. Fukudome was a great RF'er when he first came, but his defense has really slipped the last couple of years to the point where, even with his good arm, I don't think he was a real plus for us out there anymore.

    I wouldn't call it enthusiastic so much as that it's a solid signing that's going to help, particularly, as you mentioned at about 1/3 of the salary we were paying Fukudome to do the same thing.

  • To me this is all about the money. He'll be a solid guy in right and good defense will be crucial. He probably won't throw too many guys out from third to home but hopefully his defense will prevent most of those guys from getting to third in the first place. The money part of it is interesting because I see the Cubs putting some money into pitching and this certainly frees some up.

    Sorry Colvin, you share my son's name but you gotta go.

    I definitely agree about keeping Byrd only if he is the 4th outfielder. He is a good team guy, plays good defense and hopefully he can be just a little bit more clutch off the bench. Plus it doesn't put as much pressure on Jackson if he comes up with the big club right away.

  • In reply to Break The Curse:

    Agreed on all counts.

  • I like this move, it fits the new philosophy of the Cubs. He plays good defense and until this past year, gets on base. Those 2 things will be the pillars of future Cubs players, getting on base and playing good defense. Is he a star ...well no, but he is very good cog who ( if healthy) will make your team better.

  • In reply to Steve Flores:

    He's definitely a cog, a piece of the puzzle -- part of the plan so the Cubs don't beat themselves every other game. The contract is so friendly too that if the Cubs want to acquire or promote young players by next year, he's still cheap enough to be a great 4th outfielder.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    I'm just gonna agree that it's a great deal. Both with regards to money and timing. Obviously we still want to build from within, but this was an area where a signing like this helps the team.

    At this point in time I would see the OF as being Jackson, DeJesus, Byrd, Campana, and Soriano. The craziest thing is that Soriano still has value to our roster. Without him we would only have 1 RH bat in the OF, and he can still hit the ball a long way.

    But before I get tossed to the Lions, I would prefer to move him and carry 4 true OF and use LaHair as a 5th outfielder as long as bat is being productive. The term that kept coming into my mind regarding his defense was "inoffensive". He didn't really do anything wrong, but he has limitations.

  • In reply to Cameron Macpherson:

    I think Soriano is probably on the way out. There seems to be enough interest as long as the Cubs foot the bill.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    There's too much focus on bringing back a ML player in the deal though. Just pay the bill, get a prospect or two, and be glad he's off the roster.

    And somehow, even with that awful OBP, he still managed to clog up the bases from time to time...

  • In reply to Cameron Macpherson:

    I think I'd rather they get a prospect to free up the roster space.

  • I like it.

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    I love this signing. DeJesus is simply a better version of Dave Martinez, and he was one of my favorites as a Cub.

  • In reply to Michael Caldwell:

    Were you as irked as I was when Jim Frey traded him for Mitch Webster?

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    In reply to John Arguello:

    Oh boy, was I ever!

  • Christina Karhl on ESPN was not too positive to this signing. She wrote in part

    "...DeJesus was striking out at a career-worst 17 percent clip in 2011, more than three points worse than his next-worst campaign in the last six seasons. Dig into the data, and he was proving increasingly susceptible to off-speed stuff from right-handers when he wasn’t simply being owned by lefties."

    Here is the link:

    I would be most interested in a rebuttal by either John or one of the other knowledgeable contributors on this board. Note that Karhl did not mention DeJesus's defense in her breakdown of the signing.

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    In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    I'm sure Theo and Jedd did their homework on him. Is there a risk? Yes, but they obviously felt he could bounce back and that the risk was worth it.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Good thoughts Norway! I have been thinking a lot about this signing and tried to get a feel for outside information like this link since the Chicago media is basing the signing off of Hoyer's remarks.
    When he was traded to Oakland, here are a couple of articles out of Kansas City:
    *Will McDonald – Kansas City Royals -
    “ I don't get this trade. Honestly, it looks like nothing more than a salary dump...” “I understand that he was never spectacular, but David DeJesus was one of the best Royals of the last twenty years, and quietly one of the American League's best outfielders.”
    Will goes on to say that DeJesus was never a favorite of Moore’s and that he’d been looking for his replacement from Day One.
    *Bill Robbins - Bleacher nation -
    The defensive aspects of his game and his solid plate discipline was a big focus of the article. He also had this to say.
    “Arguably the most overlooked part of David DeJesus was the fact that he was an incredible person in the clubhouse. He always got along with everyone and always had the respect of fellow teammates due to his toughness from hardly missing any games and his upbeat personality. This says a lot about him, as he played for some of the worst teams in Royals, and even MLB history in his time with the franchise.”
    *Sam Mellinger: Kansas City Star -
    This article certainly gets my vote for the picture alone. John, I think you need to steal this and use it in a future article.
    Here’s a bit of what Sam had to say:
    “* DeJesus is one of 53 big league outfielders to play more than 500 games since 2007, and he ranks 36th in OPS+. The three immediately ahead of him: Marlon Byrd, Nate McLouth and Cody Ross. My personal sense on DeJesus was always that he looked like a better player than he actually was, in part because he played on such bad teams.
    What it really comes down to is this: the Royals are going to be awful in 2011, and maybe they would’ve been ever-so-slightly less awful with DeJesus. But if you believe at all in building for the future — in Mission 2012 — then the Royals had to move DeJesus, who will be 32 with a rising salary when most of the prospects arrive and 34 when they’re likely hitting their stride. This is a different time in baseball, when those ages really mean something.”

  • In reply to Break The Curse:

    Sorry for the long posts but I am really excited and wanted to find out if my excitement was real.

    *The trade from Oakland to the Cubs is being viewed differently in California. The articles seemed to view it as good riddance, you were a disappointment and how do we replace you. To me it stinks of Nick Swisher’s treatment when he was with the White Sox. If you don’t produce right away like you did, you are hounded on for it. Hopefully if DeJesus starts off a little slow, Cubs fans will have some patience with him.
    Related, but different. Phil Rogers said today that the trade would give Jackson time to develop more:
    “I love to watch kids play baseball, and would have appreciated the excitement Jackson could bring next spring. But there’s no rush. He’s only got 1,133 pro at-bats, and will benefit both from additional repetitions and diminished hype.”
    My worry here is that the hype is already there, and Jackson probably feels like he has earned a spot on the team. I hope being sent to the minors after spring training won’t make him lose confidence. I don’t think so, but baseball is such a mental game that it does worry me a bit. If he doesn’t hit well in the minors, is that worse than if he doesn’t hit well in the majors?

  • In reply to Break The Curse:

    Keep the long posts coming ; I think we're all excited to read about the Cubs right now.

    From what I know about Jackson is he has great mental makeup and character. If he doesn't make it out of spring training, he'll just work harder until he forces their hand. I don't think he's the type of guy who feels he's owed anything -- and that's another refreshing thing about how the Cubs will change. Less overpaid players with a sense of entitlement.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    We can all live with that!

  • In reply to Break The Curse:

    IMO, Rogers seemed to think that Byrd and Jackson were mutually exclusive or that Byrd (and not Jackson) was entitled to CF. I don't see how the DeJesus signing precludes a Soriano (or Player X)-Jackson-DeJesus-Byrd OF rotation.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Agreed. I think Jackson wins the job outright if he puts it together in Spring training and knocks Byrd to the corner if they get rid of Soriano. Otherwise, Jackson goes to the minors and earns the job. Hopefully the mental makeup John refers to will spell success immediately. I would love to see him on the big league team to start but could live with the alternative.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Good point Norway. Lots of assumptions made there. I think as we let the offseason play out things will start to clear up.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Funny you should say that. I had a rebuttal on Twitter for Kevin Goldstein on Twitter about how his defense helps. Except here's the thing I learned about Goldstein: he only replies when he has a quick answer, can make a snarky comment, or someone agrees with him.

    When I did counter his quick answer, there was silence. Disappointing. And he never answered the question about defense despite being asked by several people on several different occasions. He was more than willing to answer the questions that already supported his argument.

    Christina Kahrl is a very smart baseball person she'd be tough to debate. Maybe if she's on Twitter again I'll ask her about defense and also BABIP which was very low for DeJesus and tends to be very low at Oakland compared to other parks.

  • In reply to John Arguello:

    Thanks, guys (all three). I knew I could count on you! ;^)

  • To misquote The Big Lebowski: Nobody effs with De Jesus.

  • In reply to TRSlyder:

    Great line!

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    Just in case you haven't seen what DeJesus' wife, Kim, looks like.

  • My new neighbors! :D

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    In reply to lokeey:

    For you sake, I hope they don't have a privacy fence so you can see her laying out in the summer.

  • Let's not go overboard here. He batted .240 last year.

  • In reply to Aquinas wired:

    Yes, but that seems something of an aberration due to the ballpark he played in and an unusual number of batted balls in play that turned into outs (in other words, bad luck). He's normally a .280 or better type hitter with good plate discipline and excellent defense. Not a star, but a good value and a good fit.

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