Even though David DeJesus was the first free agent signing by incoming general manager Jed Hoyer in November 2011, the Cubs didn’t hesitate to trade the 33-year-old outfielder when the Nationals claimed him on waivers on Aug. 19. Chicago received cash considerations from Washington, but more pertinently, they saved the remainder of DeJesus’ $4.25 million salary—an estimated $708,000 per month—plus his $1.5 million buyout for 2014.
By trading away veterans like DeJesus, Chicago has saved more than $10.5 million on its 2013 payroll.
The Nationals immediately placed DeJesus back on waivers, but once again he failed to clear, with the AL wild card-leading Rays making the claim this time. Tampa Bay has pledged to send a player to be named (or cash considerations) to Washington, with Rays correspondent Marc Topkin reporting the PTBN will come form a list of five players. GM Mike Rizzo reportedly has his heart set on one of two Tampa Bay pitching prospects.
Update: The Nationals acquired 22-year-old lefthander Matt Spann from the Rays to complete the deal (Sept. 19).
Matt Spann, lhp
Career Transactions: Selected by Rays in 25th round of 2010 draft; signed June 11, 2010.
A 6-foot-7 lefty drafted out of high school in Columbia, Tenn., three years ago, Spann began and finished this season in the Bowling Green bullpen. He missed a few more bats in relief than he did in the rotation—13.7 percent vs. 12.9 percent—but Spann’s peripherals overall remained steady.
David DeJesus, lf/cf
Age: 33. Bats: L.
Remaining Commitment: Prorated portion of $4.25 million salary for 2013, plus $1.5 million buyout of 2014 option.
The well-traveled DeJesus—he’s played for five clubs since 2010—presents his employer with on-base skills versus righties (.345 OBP this year; .366 career) and a solid glove in the outfield, making him an ideal top-of-the-order option to pair with a righty-hitting left fielder. He’s in good hands now, seeing as few teams platoon as proficiently as the Rays.