Royals Deal DeJesus To A’s For Two Young Arms

The Deal
The Royals flirted with the idea of moving outfielder David DeJesus at the trade deadline, but a thumb injury sustained on July 22 knocked him out for the season and tabled those trade plans. Kansas City picked up his option for 2011 and set about trying to find a trade partner.

The Athletics won bidding for DeJesus’ services by offering up a pair of young pitchers, righthander Vin Mazzaro and lefty Justin Marks, both of whom turned pro as Oakland third-round draft picks. Mazzaro achieved mixed results in 41 appearances for the A’s in 2009 and ’10, while Marks spent the season pitching to solid ratios but poor results at two Class A levels.

 
Royals Acquire
Vin Mazzaro, rhp
Age: 24.
Born: Sept. 27, 1986 in Hackensack, N.J.
Ht.: 6-2. Wt.: 210. Bats: R. Throws: R.
School: Rutherford (N.J.) HS.
Career Transactions: Selected by Athletics in third round of 2005 draft; signed Sept. 8, 2005.

Club (League) Class W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
Sacramento (PCL) AAA 3 1 3.13 7 6 0 37 35 16 13 2 17 38 1.39
Oakland (AL) MLB 6 8 4.27 24 18 0 122 127 70 58 19 50 79 1.45

Mazzaro tightened his control and his slider and won Double-A Texas League pitcher of the year honors in 2008. He went 12-3, 1.90 in 22 starts for Midland that year, and the following June he made his big league debut for Oakland. In parts of two seasons with the big league club Mazzaro proved to be a capable back-of-the-rotation option, compiling 5.8 strikeouts and 3.7 walks per nine innings to go with his 4.72 ERA. He sits in the low 90s with sink and touches 94 mph, and when his mid-80s slider is on he’s got two solid weapons. Mazzaro’s curveball and changeup are below-average and continue to lag behind his fastball and slider.

 
Justin Marks, lhp
Age: 22.
Born: Jan. 12, 1988 in Owensboro, Ky.
Ht.: 6-3. Wt.: 195. Bats: L. Throws: L.
School: Louisville.
Career Transactions: Selected by Athletics in third round of 2009 draft; signed July 7, 2009.

Club (League) Class W L ERA G GS SV IP H R ER HR BB SO WHIP
Kane County (MWL) LoA 3 12 4.92 20 20 0 110 109 66 60 11 41 119 1.37
Stockton (CAL) HiA 3 1 4.58 5 4 0 20 17 13 10 4 8 17 1.27
Total 6 13 4.87 25 24 0 129 126 79 70 15 49 136 1.35

Marks is a better prospect than his 4.87 ERA this season indicates. He throws four pitches, keeps the ball on the ground and has enough control to profile as a back-of-the-rotation starter. Failing that, he could fit as a reliever with his average fastball and average to a tick above slider. Marks sits in the high 80s and tops out around 90 mph with some sink. His slurvy slider is his go-to breaking ball, but he also throws a slower mid-70s curve that he’ll need to tighten to use regularly. His changeup has its moments but is fringy in the high 70s.

 
Athletics Acquire
David DeJesus, rf/cf
Age: 30. Bats: L. Remaining Commitment: 1 year, $6 million.
Contract details courtesy of Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

Club (League) YEAR AVG G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB OBP SLG
Kansas City (AL) 2008 .307 135 518 70 159 25 7 12 73 46 71 11 .366 .452
Kansas City (AL) 2009 .281 144 558 74 157 28 9 13 71 51 87 4 .347 .434
Kansas City (AL) 2010 .318 91 352 46 112 23 3 5 37 34 47 3 .384 .443
3-Year Totals .300 370 1428 190 428 76 19 30 181 131 205 18 .363 .443

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