Nov
20

Bring DeJesus Home

By

Yesterday the Royals swung a deal for Coco Crisp, landing the man who was once traded for Chuck Finley in exchange for ex-Yankees’ prospect Ramon Ramirez. The deal gives the Boys in Royal Blue five players capable of playing the outfield everyday, meaning there’s excess to use as trade fodder. We’ve already heard rumblings about the Cubs being interested in Moneyballer Mark Teahen, although there has been no further movement on that front.

Having maintained interest in Mike Cameron, it doesn’t appear that the Yanks’ braintrust is content with Melky Cabrera and Brett Gardner duking it out for the centerfield gig in Spring Training. That’s where David DeJesus comes in. The Brooklynite and Rutgers alum is one of KC’s most marketable pieces, and luckily for Dayton Moore is centerfield market is bone dry.

DeJesus offers plenty at the plate, consistently producing on-base percentages in the .350-.370 range despite minimal lineup protection. He also has a nice amount of pop, slugging at least .445 in three of his four full seasons. His line drive rate is nearly 25%, and last year he saw 3.86 pitches per plate appearances, good for tenth among AL outfielders.

If you’re down with clutchiness you’ll be down with DeJesus. The dude hit .419-.484-.562 with RISP this year, while his 2.63 WPA was 11th in league. His Clutch tied for third in the league at 1.14. Weak hacks at balls off the plate to strike out with runners on base is enough to annoy anyone, but DeJesus has incredible bat control that allows him to make contact on 89.5% of the swings he takes (good for 6th in the league), keeping his strikeouts down.

DeJesus’ defensive reputation took a bit of a hit last year when he slid over to leftfield in deference of Joey Gathright, but rumors of his defensive demise have been greatly exaggerated. Check it out:

Revised Zone Rating Innings per Out of Zone play
2007 2008 2007 2008
Melky Cabrera .910 .938 32.5 16.5
Coco Crisp .909 .927 21.0 20.6
David DeJesus .910 .938 29.4 9.0

If you’re unfamiliar with RZR and OOZ, they measure the percentage of balls hit into a player’s zone that are converted into outs, and the number of outs made on balls out the player’s of the zone, respectively. All the stats in the table are for the CF position only, and because Melky & DeJesus bounced around outfield spots, I presented OOZ in terms of innings played at the position.

Essentially what this data tells us is that DeJesus runs down balls hit into zone just as well as Melky & Coco, and that he also makes a fair number of tough plays on balls out of his zone. He’s never going to be confused for Carlos Beltran out there, but he’s fully capable of playing the position on an every day basis. Of course the Yanks always have the option of sliding him over to left late in game, allowing Johnny Damon to get a little break while Melky/Gardner shore up the outfield defense.

So here comes the part none of us can answer, what would it take to get him? He comes dirt cheap, as he’s owed just $3.6M in 2009 and $4.7M in 2010 before a $6M club option (or $0.5M buyout) comes into play. Picking up DeJesus would allow the Yanks to remain patient with Austin Jackson, and also gives them some depth for when Xavier Nady, Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui hit the free agent market next year.

It’s not a buy low situation like Nick Swisher, but it’s a chance at a guy who could be available because of a numbers crunch. If the price is right, say a young pitcher like Ian Kennedy plus a reliever to replace Ramirez/Leo Nunez, then you almost have to pull the trigger. He brings much needed youth and athleticism, and is a perfect two year stopgap for Jackson and replacement leadoff hitter for Damon if he leaves after ’09.

Plus, just think of how much fun Michael Kay will have mentioning that DeJesus is a local kid living out his dream every time he comes to bat.

Categories : Hot Stove League
  • http://pinstripespa.blogspot.com/ Dan

    I’m all for this move, but what do you think it would take to get him? I speculated in a post a few days ago that it might cost only Phil Coke. The Royals really need some cheap bullpen arms after the Jacobs and Crisp deals.

    • jsbrendog

      if you can get it done for that cashman would be a god, drayton moore is not the best but he is no dummy like that guy from pitssburgh whos name escapes me who traded for mat morris and paid his whole salary..huntington?

      • Thomas

        Pittsburgh’s GM is Neil Huntington, but I believe that deal was made by his predecessor Dave Littlefield (who as you said is an idiot).

      • mtt

        It was Dave Littlefield, not Huntington

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

          Dave Littlefield and Cam Bonifay back to back is a putrid tandem of front office executives. Shit like that is why teams have 16 straight losing seasons.

          Bonifay + Littlefield = Layden + Thomas

  • jsbrendog

    great read. first, please stop mentioning kay, it makes me cringe knowing i’ll have to hear him hem and ahw for however many mroe years. cone and singletary are the best together.

    anyway, i like the idea. you think kennedy and two bullpen arms gets the job done? maybe kennedy and a lesser bullpen arm and maybe a young catcher prospect?

    • jersey

      michael kay is soooo much better than the majority of guys covering there respective teams…ie the hawk in chicago and chip caray those guys are terrible the philly guuys are bad too… kay gets a bad wrap but in all honesty hes pretty good. i noticed it when he did a guest appearance with jon miller and joe morgan and he called the game for an inning or so. boy did i see the light lol…

      • TurnTwo

        no, he’s not. he’s not good. not on TV, not on his radio show. he can keep Centerstage; i dont watch those anyway.

        and just because he’s better than most guys in the league covering other teams doesnt mean we should have to put up with his nonsense for another couple years, minimum.

  • A.D.

    Go ‘Gers

  • Mike Pop

    IPK and Humberto get it done ? Too much ?

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      Too much.

    • mustang

      I don’t think that’s too much. I would do it.

  • Mike Pop

    I like the idea so our outfield is in tact for 2010

  • Matt

    Yes, Yes, Y-E-S.

    Now, what does it take? I’m not even sure what they’d ask for. Melky? You can have him… Kennedy? Take him…. Hughes/Cano? No way….

    But, if ‘we’ got him, I’d project the lineup this way:

    1. Damon, LF
    2. Jeter, SS
    3. ARod, 3B
    4. Jorge, C
    5. DeJesus, CF
    6. X, RF
    7. Matsui, DH
    8. Cano, 2B
    9. Swisher, 1B

    • radnom

      I would take this any day of the week.

      Add in a rotation of
      CC
      Wang
      Joba
      Pettite
      Sheets/Hughes/Aceves/IPK

      And the teams looks sick only adding 1-2 free agents.
      Payroll is reduced, the team is younger and we have added flexibility going forward.

      Too bad this trade is a longshot and we are probably going to sign Burnett : (

    • colin

      i’m glad your not the manager then

    • Bruno

      a lead-off guy 5th?!?
      try this:

      LF-Damon
      SS-Jeter
      3B-A-Rod
      DH-Matsui
      RF-Nady
      C-Posada
      2B-Cano
      1B-Swisher
      CF-DeJesus

      • A.D.

        Much better… DeJesus at 5 was a bit too optimistic

        • Stephen

          Not to be a debbie downer, but does that really look like a great lineup. not putrid, but its probs a max 850, maybe 900 run lineup

  • zs190

    Love the idea, I hope Cashman does his due diligence on this, it just makes too much sense.

    Would love to get Greinke too, great stuff, and he’s reportedly unwilling to sign a long term deal there so they might need to trade him relatively soon as well, though maybe not this offseason.

    • Joe Fitz

      Why not get Soria too? And maybe Alex Gordon as well. Why not???

      • zs190

        Um, because they don’t have to trade those guys? Greinke has already played 4 seasons or so, he’s not under control for them for very long. I’ve seen several writers suggest the idea that Royals might want to trade Greinke if he wouldn’t commit to them long term has been circulating among some writers already.

        Keith Law mentioned the idea of them trading Greinke in his chat this afternoon, for example. I don’t see how suggesting looking at Greinke is such a bad suggestion, but maybe in your mind it is ridiculous.

  • radnom

    I would deal IPK but then the releiver would have to not be Humberto.
    I would be they are looking for more of a sure thing anyway.

    IPK + Edwar/Coke and sign me up.

    Maybe Veras or Bruney.

    • http://pinstripespa.blogspot.com/ Dan

      I like the sound of IPK/Edwar, it’d be a nice deal for the Yanks. DeJesus really would fit well at the bottom of the order. Still though, does the Yankee offense pack enough of a punch?

    • mustang

      Edwar is too much replace him with someone from the minors.

  • 27 this year

    This sound amazing as a chance to get a well rounded lineup and not expensive. IPK + bullpen arms choice of like 2 from (Sanchez, Edwar, Coke, Veras, Robertson) I prefer to keep Bruney as he seems like a capable set up man adn is already in arb so less appealing to the Royals. They might like Robertson and others.

  • BILLSTYLE

    I’ve wanted to see DeJesus in pinstripes since before the winter the Yankees signed Damon… excellent post!

  • Brooklyn Ed

    I would be surpised if Cashman made a cheap package, let’s say Britton, Veras, and Edwar, and the Royals accept it.

  • Matt

    Whoa, whoa, come on, you gotta offer value to get this guy, not just random pen arms.

    I think it’s Kennedy and 2 solid major league pen arms or kennedy and 1 ml pen arm + prospect.

  • Joe Fitz

    Speculating on who would be traded to obtain DeJesus is pointless. We don’t know what Moore wants to stock up on and who and what he values.

    I highly doubt anyone had Wilson Betemit and Marquez in a deal for Swisher.

    • Matt

      I agree, but it’s fun, haha.

      Also, the thing with swish is that you were buying extremely low, and he was making more than double they DeJesus, and is under contract up until 2012 as an option year. I belive 09:$5.3M, 10:$6.75M, 11:$9M,
      12:$10.25M club option ($1M buyout)

      That’s a lot of money, and the ChiSox were obviously looking to get rid of him.

      DeJesus’ contract is as follows: 09:$3.6M, 10:$4.7M, 11:$6M club option ($0.5M buyout)

      So, he makes just a bit more in his last year than Swish was in his first year on the Yanks.

      That’s def a factor in the equation.

  • Chip

    IPK+Britton+Cox

    With our bullpen depth we could probably be able to part with both of them. Here’s another thought, would they want Igawa? I mean he’s gotta be better than a Tomko or whomever else is getting the spot starts. If nothing else, he’s a longman/lefty reliever

    • Brooklyn Ed

      Since Kauffman stadium is pitcher’s ball and hard to hit a homer, I think Igawa could do well there as long as he keeps the ball down. The Royals hardly have a lefty in their pen or rotation.

      • Mike P

        If Cashman manages to turn Igawa into DeJesus he’s the second coming of de Jesus.

  • r.w.g.

    DeJesus is a nice player who would fit in nicely and quietly. I think I’d rather have Jim Edmonds for just money if we’re trying to win the WS next year, but I don’t think it would be a bad move at all.

    Go RU.

  • Jake K.

    Assuming both players are available (and I have no idea if they are), but would folks here rather the Yanks make a play for Dejesus or Hermida?

    • Matt

      That’s a good one…. I’d give a slight edge to DeJesus, although Hermida is younger by like 4 years.

      • Bruno

        I’d love to get DeJesus, but Hermida’s MUCH better IMO.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      The Marlins have stated that they’d have to be “blown away” to move Hermida. They’re prepared to keep him.

      So, he’s probably less available than DeJesus.

  • B.George

    Do it now…..and for the love of god he grew up in Manalapan,NJ not Brooklyn…..give my town some friggin respect please lol

  • http://www.samiamsports.blogspot.com SAMIAMSPORTS

    Michael Kay..(shiver…cringe) Michael Kay….(Shiver…Cringe)….MICHAEL KAY…(ok..just wet my pants)

  • JayJay

    Im not against this move at all, but DeJesus is hardly a young buck. He’ll be 30 in less then a month…..young compared to the rest of the team yeah.

    Everyone is obviously really low on Kennedy, but I don’t see giving up IPK plus a good reliever or two for a guy who we all plan on replacing when AJax is ready. I would much rather give IPK more then a year and a half in the minors before writing him off.

    Like I said I’m all for the type of player DeJesus is, but I don’t see giving up Kennedy for a guy who may hit 290 at the bottom of our lineup for the next 2 years.

    • Jake K.

      I see your point, but Dejesus could also be part of the long-term picture in the outfield, since we could lose Damon, Nady and Matsui after next year. It could be Ajax, Dejesus, Swisher after that. It’s not like we have any other OF prospects knocking on the door now that Tabata is gone.

    • 27 this year

      he can do more than hit at the bottom of the line up. He’s got a OBP, sees a lot of pitches, has decent speed, and is clutch according to Mike A. He is productive CF who is just as good as AJax could possibly be.

    • pat

      he’ll be 29 in a month not 30

      • JayJay

        my fault bad math… i was thinking of myself in jan i guess.

  • Bruno

    DeJesus for IPK, Britton, Cox/Roberson, and Igawa (we pay 99%).
    where do I sign?

  • Baseballnation

    Ipk/Cox/Robertson….Yada yada yada. I’d like to see someone get creative and not jump up with “Hey we can deal Kennedy!” 1) I think some are underestimating Kennedy as a player. I still think he can be a good 4 who can give innings down the line. We knew bumps would be in the road….That comes with having a young player. I think the Yankees can get Dejesus for Something like Vech/Mcallister/Veras

    • Jerry

      I think you wait on Mcallister. He looks like a really solid prospect and I like his upside a lot better than Kennedy’s. And wouldn’t the Royals not want Kennedy because he is like Brian Bannister?

      • jersey

        he might be bannister if all fails with him… but ian has a much higher ceiling

    • jersey

      why int he world would u be willing to deal zach and keep ian?….

      • Permínio

        Couldn’t agree more. I’d rather give’em Kennedy than McAllister. I think McAllister has a better upside than Kennedy.

    • erik

      MCCALISTER R U OUT OF YOUR MIND (he is gonna be so much better then kennedy)?

      mine= steven jackson, britton, ipk and igawa

      then we go out and flip matsui/but prolly damon for a legitimate outfield and possibly infiedl prospect

  • jersey

    id love to get dejesus…i actually know his uncle i remember being at a bbq with his uncle proudly sporting a dejesus royals jersey. the kid is built for the bright lights of yankee stadium…he killed us this year. an audition. i hope cash was paying attn. please kill all the cameron talk and bring david to the bronx… id give kennedy and edwar or veras…i would try to keep coke but if i absolutely had to which i dont think i would then id have to sign off on a ian coke package…but there not in love with david as u can tell from his moving to left in favor of the ever so great joey gathright…SIGH SMH

  • LC

    The Yanksshould learn something from last season…choose who to trade when their value is high. Coke’s value may never be higher.

    How about IPK, and Coke. If that doesn’t do it, add in Claggett or Whelan.

    Our ‘pen would still be very solid, with help from Melancon later on in the season.

    This trade makes way way too much sense. The Royals get two/three young arms and the Yanks get a young CF who has great production and is cheap.

    Here’s to Cashman making this happen

  • Brian

    I’ll sign on as a supporter of this idea. DeJesus is lightyears ahead of Mike Cameron as an option in CF. We’d be left with Damon/Matsui, DeJesus and Nady…. not the most loaded OF ever, but one that wouldn’t embarrass me, anyway.

  • cupz

    A DeJesus trade would be an absolutely fantastic idea. As I’ve proposed a Greinke/DeJesus trade before (understanding it would take the farm for Greinke), DeJesus is a great hitter in an otherwise naked lineup. Good OBP, hits for average, decent defender, and totally cheap. Since we’re basically losing our outfield next year (I think Nady is underrated a bit, and would def. explore resigning him), we need a solid option.

    Don’t know what it would take, but we do have a nice surplus of bullpen arms (lets keep in mind y’all that Edwar pitched a no-hitter in July…let’s not necessarily treat him as a throw-in), and I would be willing to include Kennedy in the deal (and I haven’t lost faith in him, btw)…

  • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

    Here’s the part that I don’t get: Why would the Royals move DeJesus? Why not just keep DeJesus and move Coco, or not trade for Coco at all? I never got the Coco trade from their perspective.

    They’re basically the same age (12/20/79 for DeJesus, 11/1/79 for Coco), but DeJesus is a better hitter (.287/.360/.422 vs. .280/.331/.409), he’s further from free agency and signed to a cheaper deal (DeJesus is due 3.6M and 4.7M the next two years with a 6.0M club option in 2011; Coco is 5.75M with an 8M club option in 2010).

    So basically, the Royals traded a useful arm for a player who’s worse offensively, more expensive, and will have to be resigned sooner, and who isn’t any younger. The only upside to Coco over DeJesus is defense, and that’s an upgrade of enough significance to justify jettisoning DeJesus.

    The only thing that makes sense to me is that the Royals always planned on keeping Coco in CF and keeping DeJesus in RF/LF and that they’re trying to dump one of their other OF’s and going with the plus-plus defensive outfield. So, perhaps it’s really Teahen and Gathright who are on the block, and the Royals are going with a DeJesus-Crisp-Maier outfield for the future.

    • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

      Sorry…

      “and that’s NOT an upgrade of enough significance to justify jettisoning DeJesus.”

    • Permínio

      Perhaps because they could’ve in the end improved their rotation, bullpen, speed and CF defense assuming the package could be Kennedy and two decent to good bullpen arms. That might make some sense.

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Mr. Snarky Irrelevant Non Sequitur Jones

        Perhaps. It could simply be that they thought the net swing of prospects coming in in trading for Coco + dealing away DeJesus was worth it… but I’m just saying, it seems like a clear downgrade, and they’re actually paying more money and getting less financial flexibility (since they’ll have to either pay or replace Coco sooner) to have that downgrade.

        Curious.

        • Permínio

          Agreed.

  • The Original Brian
  • JL25and3

    I can’t see DeJesus coming cheap, not as cheap as we’d want. His ridiculously favorable contract makes him more valuable to the Royals than to the Yankees. It’s not so easy to get an established good player at that sort of price. If I’m the Royals, I’m not touching any deal without at least one high-upside player. Kennedy and a couple of relievers? Not a chance.

    He may not be worth more than that to the Yankees, though, because the contract isn’t as meaningful to them. It’s nice, but they don’t need it the way the Royals do.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to have DeJesus. I think he’s a great fit. I hear people say “you don’t need a superstar at every position” to justify bad players (Melky), but DeJesus is who they should be talking about.

    I just don’t think there’s a deal to be made.

  • Baseballnation

    Some of you guys are overvalueing Mcallister and undervalueing Kennedy. Mcallister is a solid prospect but he’s a 3/4 at best…let’s not misconstrued that fact cause as Yankee fans I know we tend to do that at times…Kennedy in consideration of last year and everything else has that same type of ceiling. There’s really no difference in quality of stuff between the two, and Kennedy is Mlb ready or near enough, so that gives him the edge over Mcallister.

  • Bigs

    De Jesus would be a steal. We have an excess of pitchers. A nice package should do the trick. The Royals do not like to take on payroll, so youngsters should do the trick. I am not against putting Austin Jackson in any deal. He has modest numbers throughout his career. The hype is there because he is the ONLY position player in the upper system.

  • Bill M.

    I say Coke and Kennedy or Coke and Melky.
    Coke is the only one we would miss.
    Melky and Kennedy were always overrated. Get rid of them.

  • mustang

    I was talking to a friend about this yesterday I totally agree Dejesus would be a great fit.

    “say a young pitcher like Ian Kennedy plus a reliever to replace Ramirez/Leo Nunez,”
    I was thinking about the same price tag that seems about right.

    Ok this is getting scary now.
    LOL