Nationals DeJesus move a gift to Cubs

I speculated when the Cubs moved Junior Lake to center field that another move could be in the works.

I figured the Cubs had intentions on trading David DeJesus if he cleared waivers. It turns out it didn’t come to that. The Washington Nationals for whatever reason claimed DeJesus and the Cubs decided not to pull him back. Thus a PTBNL deal was consummated.

The Nats are set in their outfield with Bryce Harper, Denard Span and Jayson Werth. To clear room for DeJesus, they released outfielder Roger Bernadina. It was a curious move as the Nats are not really in contention, and they would have no reason to block another team from acquiring DeJesus.

Nats general manager Mike Rizzo told the Washington Post that he wanted DeJesus to improve the team’s bench. Seems more likely they didn't expect the Cubs to let DeJesus go.

“(DeJesus) improves our left-handed side of the bench immediately,” Rizzo said. “He’s also a guy that is capable of being an everyday player. He can step in there for extended periods of time if there are injuries. He helps us in a variety of ways".

That being said, Ken Rosenthal says the Nats immediately placed DeJesus back on waivers to try and shed his remaining salary. That $2.5 million remaining is a nice savings for the Cubs and Jed Hoyer.

“That was certainly a strong consideration,’’ general manager Jed Hoyer said of the contract. “You also have [Brian] Bogusevic coming back, and Ryan Sweeney coming back in September [fractured left rib]. It gives us a chance to look at those guys going into the offseason.”

DeJesus could be back next year as a potential fourth outfielder or platoon player.

“We really like David a lot. I’ve told his agent and Theo told him directly we’re willing to talk to him at some point about bringing him back,’’ Hoyer said. “I think he’s a good mentor for our young guys. I like his approach at the plate.
“For the [remaining] 39 games, we felt it was the right decision. But that doesn’t close the door on David with the Cubs in the future because there are a lot of things he does that we’d like to have in our clubhouse.’’

The Cubs front office has been able to not only boost their inventory of young players over the last month, but in addition, by shedding Alfonso Soriano, Matt Garza, and DeJesus they have been able to save a ton of cash.


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  • Any thought that the Nats grabbed DeJesus just to prevent the Braves from getting him? Those teams really hate each other now.

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    So the Nationals claimed DeJesus and the Cubs didn't pull him back - I get that. But, since the Cubs aren't sending any money to the Nats, why did that Nats offer the PTBNL instead of just straight claiming him? It seems like they don't really need/want him and definitely don't want to pay his salary. I just don't see where the PTBNL fits in.

  • In reply to Sean Powell:

    I'm just assuming it saves some face for them? Or they worked out something else with Cubs. Puzzling deal.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    They could potentially tie it in with the PTBNL in the Hairston deal. Maybe Washington got to pull a player from the list of potential players that they want to keep and instead are sending a different PTBNL for DeJesus.

  • In reply to Sean Powell:

    I believe the way the waiver wire works (according to Wikipedia), when a player from Team A is claimed by Team B, either a trade must be completed between the teams, or Team A can let the player go for nothing. In this case, since the Cubs weren't going to let DDJ go for nothing, a deal had to be completed. Thus the PTBNL and no cash. It's not like WAS could just take him without offering any compensation.

  • In reply to CubsFanInNorway:

    Umm, why not? I think the Cubs would left him walk for salary relief, etc.

  • In reply to KSCubsFan:

    My point was that the Cubs' choice to trade DJ or let him just go, not Washington's, as suggest by Mr. Powell above.

    The Cubs chose not to let him go for nothing, which seems entirely reasonable from my POV.

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    I thought this might happen when I realized DDJ'd buy out was $1.5M... which seems steep. Interesting to see Mike Rizzo's reaction to essentially giving the cubs $2.5M. Can't imagine the Nationals ownership is happy about that.

    And with that, I'd expect the Nationals to pick up the option DDJ's option next year, since $1.5M is a sunk cost, and Rizzo would likely want to save face.

  • This is all about Rizzo saving face, he outsmarted himself and is trying to minimize the damage. I suspect the Nats were trying to block the Braves, who seem to have a feud with the Nats

  • So who do we get... Stras or Gio?

  • In reply to HoosierDaddy:

    Hold out for Bryce.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    I love the way he plays the game.

    Shocked he's not doing clown commercials for a shampoo yet....

  • Hi Tom - did you have any sense if the Cubs missed an opportunity to trade DeJesus at the deadline? The strong assumption is the Cubs got strictly financial savings from this deal - my sense 21 days ago was most people thought DeJesus was an asset beyond 2013 and thus the Cubs could get a decent prospect back AND shed his financial commitments. Ceratinly seems they made the right move dumping his salary on Aug 19 - but have to wonder if they passed up a slightly better deal July 31?

  • In reply to Charlieboy:

    Didn't really hear anything like that besides he was just coming back from an injury.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Of course we'll never know the real answer - I just don't recall many if any people that were saying the Cubs should dump DeJesus 20 days ago for nothing just to get the salary relief. He was one of those guys with value beyond 2013 that we could hold on to if the price was not right - or at least thats how I remember it.

  • In reply to Charlieboy:

    I think they see savings plus chance at getting him back? Plus Sweeney emerged as option.

  • In reply to Tom Loxas:

    Sweeney looked like a better option in his brief stint this year...

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    Moral of the story for GMs out there: Don't put a claim on a player that you don't really want on your team. Apparently, that's exactly what the Nationals did. (That, or maybe they didn't check Cot's first and know there was a $1.5 mil buyout).

    Nats will pay DeJesus $2.5 mil for 1/4 season. Is he a $10 mil player? Don't think so. And apparently, the Nats now realize he isn't.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Sometimes it works. Best all time was the Giants claiming Cody Ross, to block the first place Padres from getting him and filling a hole in their outfield in 2010. They were shocked when the Marlins didn't pull him back and said just take him for nothing. Naturally, he became a playoff and world series hero for the Giants.

  • So what is all this saving of money leading to? I've heard it hinted that the FO might be aggressive this offseason. I can't help but wonder if they'll make a run at Ellsbury.

  • In reply to Denim Dan:

    The Cubs would just assume bring Dejesus back than go all out for a guy like Ellsbury.

    The money savings are likely going to pay down the debt the Ricketts took on to buy the team.

  • In reply to Denim Dan:

    Maybe pursuing Choo?

  • Seems like a botched move to me. Cubs win one.

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    In reply to BLOOMIE1937:

    Seems more like an unforced error on the part of the Nationals....we'll take it though. Don't forget they also took Hairston's contract off our hands, and gave us an actual prospect in return (Pineyro).

    Really dumb on their part

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    Off Topic, but this is a fun quiz; guess all Cubs starting lineups from '91 to present:

    Some guys I completely forgot about (Scott Bullett?), so it can get pretty tough. Probably most tenured player I forgot about was E-Y.

  • In reply to Zonk:

    It's remarkable how quickly you forget about some of these guys. I had forgotten about Brent Lillibridge and he was on the roster into May of this season!

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Damon Buford?? Ha

  • In reply to Zonk:

    Thanks for the link, it was fun.

    I actually only missed 3 guys from 91-95. I saw LF batting cleanup in in 93-94 and I assumed there was some big time player I was forgetting. When the answers came up that we started Candy Maldanado and Derrick May at cleanup hitter in back to back years I cried a little inside. Only other guy I missed was Jim Bullinger.

    I blanked on some easy ones at catcher, somehow missing Servais, Girardi, and Barrett. And I also was terrible with LF, having already missed Candy and May and then missed Gonzalez, Murton, White, Hollandsworth. I lucked out that Roosevelt Brown shares the same name with Brant Brown otherwise that would have been one more that I missed.

    There were also certain guys I have refused to accept were ever Cubs and have excised them from my memory (Damon Buford, Jose Nieves, Cesar Izturis, Kevin Orie, Alex Gonzalez, Ian Stewart) though I apparently couldn't unremember Todd Hundley and Gary Scott.

  • In reply to mjvz:

    Lenny Harris. Jose Macias. I hate you Dusty.

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    I like the cost savings here, but it would be nice if DeJesus was willing to come back as a backup guy. Don't think he will, but he'd be an awesome asset coming off the bench.

  • Definitely was a botched move. The Nats just put him back on waivers.

    Should the Cubs demand their PTBNL now, and pick Dejesus back up? (Essentially buying a PTBNL for $2.5 mil.) And THEN put him back on waivers? If another team claims him, they get a free player.

    (except for the bad karma in jerking DDJ and his wife around.)

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    I think the FO had to decide between DDJ and Scherholtz. Scherholtz is giving them more production for less money. DDJ was due 2.5 million and an option that if exercised was 6.5. Or pay 1.5 to lose him next year. That seems like an awful lot for DDJ, especially with Bougecivic and Sweeney as cheaper options. Not to mention all are lefties. This was a no brainer for Theo and Jed. If DDJ wasn't such a good guy no one would have a problem.

  • I know this is off subject but I just don't get the hatred for dusty baker. He is the only manager that got us close to a world series.Its funny everywhere he goes his team is in the postseason. Maybe he has not won the big one but his team is always in the conversation and that's all you could ask for. The tribune company did not give dusty the payroll that the next manager got, but he did more with less. When are we going to start blaming the players for not producing ? Like cubs hero kerry wood for looking defeated in the dugout after game six. Like our shortstop for not making a simple double play ? And dusty is being blamed for overusing pitchers but lets look at the last managers we had, Lou Piniella and quade abused marmol, and dale is doing the same with russell. Wood was damaged goods before baker got there but he gets the blame for woods arm problems.

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    In reply to seankl:

    No, he's mostly blamed for Mark Prior's arm troubles. (That abuse was unconscionable.)

    And Russ Ortiz. And Jason Schmidt. And Edinson Volquez.

    He also is very good at the 162 game season where being a cheerleader on a good, veteran team is important. When it comes to tactical decisions, he's absymal. (i.e., not putting Matt Clement into game 7 because Matt Clement is a starter and it would be an insult to the relievers to put him there.)

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    mark prior's arm problems are his fault. And to give him no credit for anything is why I say once chicago finds a fall guy no matter what he will all ways be the fall guy. I can pull a lot of managers out and say they are responsible for players but when does it become the players fault. Game seven was the cubs mascot kerry wood giving up runs in the game not dusty. The players are responsible for not winning game six or seven.

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    In reply to seankl:

    How, exactly, are Mark Prior's arm problems his fault?

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    He was never the same when he got hurt running the bases and got up ended. Who's to say prior would not have got hurt if he had pitched less ? Stephen Strasburg pitches less but he still gets hurt, it was not always his arm that was hurt at one time it was his calf. Like I said once people find a fall guy for the pitcher that everyone said will never get hurt he will always be the fall guy.

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    In reply to seankl:

    Nothing here answers my question. Again: how are Prior's arm problems his fault?

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I probably worded it wrong with saying its prior fault, But are we going to blame priors bad luck of landing on his arm and catching a line drive on dusty ? Last year the reds used only five starters, does dusty get credit or only gets blamed when one of his pitchers get hurt ?

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    In reply to seankl:

    If it was just Prior, you *may* have a point. But Dusty has left a pile of ruined pitchers in his wake.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    How are getting rolled by Giles and taking a line drive off the elbow the fault of Prior or Baker?

    Prior (and Cubs fans) had shitty luck. Baker definitely overused him, but Prior was never the same after fracturing his elbow.

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    In reply to mjvz:

    He was never the same after 2003. Look at his peripherals.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I just disagree that dusty is this evil manager that goes around ruining careers and not considering bad luck or the players body not responding. Dusty is one of the main reasons that the culture of the cubs have changed from just going to games to really wanting to win because of that 03 team that gave us a taste of winning. When does us as cubs fans really give the good players and managers there do and stop bash them and instead fall in love with the tony campana's and Lou Piniella's, and kerry woods.

  • In reply to seankl:

    And one more thing Jason Schmidt had some of his best years on the giants and got hurt with the dodgers, and Edinson Volquez problems are not injuries but control.

  • In reply to Mike Moody:

    I feel the same way aboiut Pinella. With a good veteran team he was fine over 162 games but not so good in postseason.

  • In reply to seankl:

    If Baker didn't use Wood and Prior like he did in 2003, the Cubs wouldn't have been close to the NLCS. The bullpen sucked that year, and getting more mileage out of the starters was the only way to compete.

    I'm not taking sides in this discussion, but that's how I saw it in 2003.

  • Maybe the Cubs just were not good enough. Part of winning a WS is landing on your feet and not like an old shot up WWII bomber plane coming in on one engine and no landing gear.

  • Overusing, or misusing, a pitcher is always the managers fault.

  • In reply to emartinezjr:

    The other side of the coin is that managers are trying to get to the post season. They use the pitchers that can get outs, which leads to W's. I concur that Dusty abused Prior.

  • Tom - is it you or John that has to break it to Felzz that Kim DeJesus's husband is no longer a Cub?

  • In reply to Ryno2Grace:

    We're just going to slip a note under his door and then run.

  • Dear everyone,

    This was not a botched move where the Nats accidentally claimed him/blocked him from going to another team. If that was the case, why would they give up a PTBNL for him?

    Answer: They wouldn't. They'd kick the dirt and take the player.

    And for those that say that the Nats placing him on waivers immediately shows they made a mistake, I'd tell you that everyone ends up on waivers at one time or another in August. Maybe they wanted to see if another team wanted him more further up the pecking order? What would they have to lose by placing him on waivers? Nothing.

    The Nats wanted him and they wanted him primarily for next year. Because 1) they traded something for him and 2) there's no point in picking up an OFer that would cost $1M for the rest of this year only to buy him out for $2.5M after the season.

    And, yes, he'd be their 4th outfielder, but their outfield has showed major injury risk this year. Werth has been banged up the last 2 years and Bryce Harper is a human crash test dummy.

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