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David DeJesus Signs With the Cubs

November 30, 2011

One key piece of the 2011 third-place in the American League West Oakland A’s is gone. David DeJesus signed a two-year contract with the Chicago Cubs – Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer’s first at the helm on the North Side – and given that Oakland had offered him arbitration the move nets Oakland a supplemental draft pick in the 2012 amateur draft.

As per Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune, DeJesus is,

“to earn $4.25 million each of the next two years, with [a] $6.5 million option and $1.5 million buyout.”

That deal is the type I’d have loved to see Oakland sign DeJesus to – frankly it is a steal. The deal is worth at least $10M over two years and that means DeJesus needs to provide basically 1.0 WAR production each season to pay it off – in his clearly off 2011 season he still managed to be worth 2.2 WAR, essentially a bad year would’ve paid off this entire contract. I am not sure if DeJesus wasn’t a fan of hitting in Oakland (I assume he wasn’t putting up .229/.331/.364 at the Coliseum in 2011 and a .235/.325/.369 mark over his career) and wasn’t interested in re-signing or whether the disinterest was mutual but, what a great pick up for Chicago. I truly think, a poor BABIP (his .274 is a big departure from his .312 career mark) and his new struggles with left-handed pitching (.209 wOBA versus LHP’s in 2011, versus a .308 career mark) sunk his season and explain the serious departure from his regular performance – though playing in the Coliseum may very well have been a contributing factor as well.

I had advocated re-signing DeJesus for a while, though there never appeared to be any movement towards that happening. To me of all the departing outfielders he represented the best commitment as he played a good right field and was poised for an offensive rebound. It’ll be interesting to see how he succeeds at Wrigley Field, my guess is he will.

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