There have many reports which have Kansas City Royals outfielder David DeJesus being available in trade. And why not? The Royals stink and they can do just as badly without DeJesus as they can with him*.
*That reminds me of a story in which Ralph Kiner, then a power hitting right-handed hitter for the Pittsburgh Pirates, going into Branch Rickey’s (then GM of the Pirates) office before the 1953 season to talk contract. Kiner had just led the National League again in home runs (he would lead the NL in home runs his first seven seasons!).
Kiner wanted a raise, and Rickey, a notorious tightwad, wanted no part of it and cut his salary from $90K to $65K. When Kiner said he just led the league in home runs again and would possibly hold out the season, Rickey replied, “well, we came in last place with you, and we can certainly come in last place without you.”
So DeJesus is not doing any good being in Kansas City, and if the Royals can move him for a few younger players, they can save a few dollars and get younger. DeJesus is due about $3 million remaining on his 2010 contract, which also has a club option for $6 million or a $500K buyout.
Speculation by Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated suggests DeJesus would be a good fit for the Yankees.
He would be wrong.
Why do the Yankees NEED David DeJesus? He is a good player, but the Yankees are good with outfielders, and have more than enough 30 plus-year-old designated hitters.
The Yankees already have starters Brett Gardner in left field, Curtis Granderson in center field and Nick Swisher in right field.
That is a pretty good outfield with each corner outfielder doing their jobs, while Granderson could begin hitting for a little more power. Although Granderson’s April numbers were horrible, he has been very productive since returning from his groin injury.
Granderson is hitting .314 BA/.368 OBP/.514 SLG/.882 OPS with six runs, four doubles, and a home run since returning to the lineup. His approach has been better and he is hitting left handers much better, too.
Gardner went through a mini-slump in late May, but has since rebounded nicely, and Swisher is having one of the best starts of his career. Don’t overanalyze the people writing about Swisher starting well in other seasons, then heavily regressing. With Kevin Long in his corner, and Swisher’s great work ethic, those slump days are long behind him.
So, with all three outfielders performing well right now, why the need for DeJesus? If the Royals trade the highly respected outfielder, they would need at least a prospect such pitchers Zach McAllister, Ivan Nova, David Phelps or Hector Noesi and/or Double A hitting star Brandon Laird.
That would be too much for a guy who would be sitting the bench. Yes, DeJesus would not start for this Yankee team.
If he would be a starter, the Yankees would make a huge mistake.
DeJesus would probably take over left field, then, right? Play in place of Gardner. But why?
Gardner is slashing .311/.393/.421/.814 OPS with 41 runs scored, 25 walks and 20 stolen bases.
DeJesus is slashing .307/.380/460/.841 OPS with 30 runs scores, 23 walks and two stolen bases.
So, a little pop via more doubles for DeJesus. With Gardner’s blazing speed, his ability to steal bases gives his singles and walks a chance to be converted to ” Brett type doubles.” Heyman talked about the Yankees wanting a “a high on base guy.” Don’t they already have that in Gardner, who has an actual higher OBP than DeJesus?
And Gardner’s defense is much better than DeJesus’, who is four years older.
This type of move for DeJesus is a bad one for the Yankees, as they do not appreciably improve their team.
If that trade is made, Gardner’s development and improvement will be stagnated. He is playing Brett baseball – no need to change that.
I actually advocated the Yankees go after DeJesus in December rather than sign Johnny Damon to an exhorbitant contract.
That was before Gardner became Brett the Jet, and began to play his game very well in the majors.
But now that Gardner is playing well, the Yankees do not need any moves right now.