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

9 Comments

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Better than Fukodome, half the cost. We are reaping the rewards of Mr. Ricketts’ great decison of firing Hendry already. More difficult than addressing the first base opening will be the removal of Soriano from left field. Either by a directive to Sveum to bench him in favor of an actual outfielder yet to be named or by releasing him or by trading him for a Gatorade cooler. Make that a generic cooler, the Gatorade brand name may be too much to get in return.

If David DeJesus is an examp[le of the type players this new regime will be bringing to the Cubs, We are in for another losing stint.
DeJesus will more than l;ikely be a cheap version of Fukudome.
We have enough of .240 hitters already.

Even if he is a cheap version of Fukodme….he’ll be 4 million dollars cheaper,and signed for “only two guaranteed years”, allowing payroll to be spent elsewhere instead of handcuffing the team like Hendry did. DeJesus batting .240 and NOT corkscrewing himself in the ground while striking out will be an improvement over Fukodome, who was a bust. He’ll be a steady right fielder with a little more to offer than the other band-aid outfielder (Byrd) that Hendry brought in for one year too many, if somebody else beats him out of the everyday RF job so be it. This is a good start to plugging some holes without breaking the bank leaving payroll available for Fielder (maybe) or pitching.

Does he help us win this year or next year or the year after? I can’t see how. Being better than Fukudome means nothing because Fukudome is not here. He needs to be better than anybody else we can put out their at the right price that will help us win this year, next year, or 2014. I would think we could do better in all of those regards. I would rather see Byrd in RF and Campana/Jackson in CF. That would be cheaper and probably equal in production with better defense.

Just comparing 2012’s right fielder to last season’s I would rather have DeJesus than Fukodome. Other than that there is not much to argue wtih Denvil about this. I suppose a happy medium would be BYRD IN LEFT FIELD, Campana/Jackson in CF with DeJesus in RF. At least with this outfield we have defense and a few lead off options. The thing to agree on would be the absence of BOTH SorryOhNo and FoolADummy????

People need to realize, believe it or not, this is not the Cubs last move this off-season. You also can’t look at this as taking the team Fukudome was on and replacing him with DeJesus. Fukudome was not the right fit for that group of guys to succeed. We now have Theo and Hoyer, two guys who are good at finding players who fit well together as a team and play off of each others’ strengths. For all we know, this move is the beginning of some sort of grand scheme or sets up a potential trade that we can all be excited about. Give them a chance to make all their off-season moves before judging one tiny piece of a much larger puzzle.

Campana is not a starting Outfielder. He’s a pinch-runner/sacrifice bunter. I like Byrd as a player but the production has been declining. Hopefully Jackson can show up in the Spring and push Byrd out of the way, but you still don’t know what you’re going to get out of him. Dejesus is a .275-.285 AVG, .350 OBP left handed hitter with good defense (20 errors in 9 years) and a cheap, short contract. Sounds like a “just what the doctor ordered” move to me.

The only reason Campana is not a starting outfielder is because the manager doesn’t start him. Just like the only reason Soriano IS a starting outfielder is because the manager starts him. Cases can be made for both players to sit the bench, Campana because he won’t be an RBI guy and would more than likley bat .260 and Soriano because he is a terrible defensive outfielder that costs his teams hits and runs. Between the two, as the roster stands RIGHT NOW I will take Campana’s speed, base stealing threat and defense over Soriao’s one dimensional home run swing. A lot of games can be won with an AB from Campana as opposed to hoping and praying the overmatched Soriano gets lucky and connects with one of his all or nothing swings. Byrd, Campana and DeJesus would be three outfielders that can DEFEND their postion AND combine to score runs in several ways. Anybody think Soriano will actually last three more years with the Cubs now that Hendry is gone? Until Jackson cracks the lineup or another outfielder is acquired I would love to see Soriano’s paying time cut drastically and we see more of Johnson and Campana.

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