11/30 Cubs have new RF in DeJesus
The Cubs have a new right fielder as GM Jed Hoyer made his first on-field transaction Wednesday, signing David DeJesus to a two-year contract with an option for a third year. DeJesus will earn $4.25 million each of the next two years, and the 2014 option year is for $6.5 million with a $1.5 million buyout.
“We don’t see him as a platoon player,” Hoyer said of DeJesus. “Does that mean he won’t get days off against tough lefties? I’m sure we’ll try to provide that support and flexibility for Dale [Sveum] but we’re not signing [DeJesus] as a platoon player.”
DeJesus has averaged 33 doubles, eight triples, 11 home runs and 70 RBIs per 162 games in his career, playing for the Royals (2003-10) and Athletics (2011). In 2010, he set career highs with a .318 batting average and .384 on-base percentage in 91 games but his season ended early because of a right thumb injury shortly after the All-Star break. Theo Epstein, the Cubs president of baseball operations, tried to acquire DeJesus prior to the Trading Deadline in 2010.
The outfielder was dealt to the A’s after the 2010 season, and last year, batted .240 with 20 doubles, five triples, 10 home runs, 60 runs scored and 46 RBIs in 131 games. He did hit .270 with a .342 on-base percentage after the All-Star Break last year.
“One thing you try to do whenever you acquire players is have a broader lens than just the previous year,” Hoyer said. “With David, he was one of the most sought after players in the trade market in 2010 before he hurt his thumb.
“We feel very good that he’ll come into Chicago and bounce back,” Hoyer said.
Hoyer said he likes DeJesus’ defense plus his ability to hit right-handed pitching well, make contact, and run the bases. In 2011, DeJesus had a 241-game errorless streak. He won’t bring much power but does give the Cubs a left-handed bat in the lineup, part of Hoyer’s efforts to get more balance. The team is still in the market for another left-hand hitter.
What about Tyler Colvin? The outfielder struggled to hit .150 with six homers in 80 games last season after hitting 20 homers and batting .254 in 2010.
“He’s certainly not out of the picture,” Hoyer said. “Tyler struggled in 2011. He has to come to camp and bounce back from last year. We’re trying to round out our lineup and do everything we can to put the best team we can on the field. I think Tyler, given the year he had, he needs to bounce back and that starts in Spring Training.”
One person ecstatic over the signing is DeJesus’ wife, Kim, who tweeted: “I was born a cubs fan, and now im married to one!!!!! COULDNT BE MORE EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!! GOOOOO CUBBIES!!!!!!!!!!”
– Carrie Muskat