Though the Washington Nationals stayed quiet at the non-waiver trade deadline, General Manager Mike Rizzo decided to make a move via waivers in August. He added former Chicago Cubs outfielder David DeJesus for a player to be named later.
DeJesus is an immediate upgrade at fourth outfielder over Roger Bernadina, who was released after the acquisition of DeJesus on Monday. DeJesus has a slash line of .249/.329/.400, fantastic for a player off the bench. Also, DeJesus provides another option for left-handed pinch hitters, an assist to the struggling Chad Tracy.
The Chicago Cubs were motivated to trade DeJesus due to the money left on his contract next year and the remaining amount this year. Due to this, they decided not to ask for a prospect in return from the Nationals. Instead of receiving a player to be named later, the Nationals will pay a fraction of the waiver fee and will take on all of the rest of DeJesus’ contract. DeJesus is owed less than $1 million for the remainder of 2013, and $6.5 million for 2014 with the option of a $1.5 million buyout.
As a teammate DeJesus is known as one of the MLB’s best. In his final days as a Cub, DeJesus took the struggling Starlin Castro under his wing after a costly mental mistake. Castro forgot the situation, and allowed a St. Louis Cardinals runner to score on a pop up barely reaching the outfield, Cubs Manager Dale Sveum immediately pulled Castro from the game. Castro headed to the Cubs clubhouse to sulk, but DeJesus talked to him, convinced him to return back to the dugout, and move on from his mistake. Efforts like this that the public rarely hear about can greatly help a team’s attitude and chemistry.
Immediately after the trade, the Nationals placed DeJesus on waivers again. Most likely, they have no desire to trade him again as it is protocol for many teams to put most of their roster on waivers after the July 31st deadline. However, if the Nationals do decide they want to move DeJesus they have to option to explore a trade further if they believe they can obtain the right return.
All in all, the Nationals will be getting their money’s worth with DeJesus. $2.5 million is not a great financial commitment for someone of DeJesus’ ability. He will help the team on the field and in the clubhouse, providing much needed veteran leadership.