When he's not pushing for a windfall tax on Big Oil or complaining about the free ride Sarah Palin got in the 2008 election, Rambling Al will sometimes talk about the Brewers and baseball. Every now and again, he'll bring up David DeJesus, like he did recently when Kansas City traded CoCo Crispy to the Red Sox. This is what MLBTradeRumors.com said about the deal:
The Red Sox trim payroll here, as Ramirez is not yet arbitration-eligible. He will not reach free agency until after the 2012 season, so the Red Sox impressively acquired four years of his services. The 27 year-old posted a 2.64 ERA in 71.2 innings this year while whiffing 70. The Royals might have to add a reliever to compensate for his absence, though they're now at their payroll limit. They're also a bit heavy on outfielders at this point.
Too many outfielders in Kansas City, you say? That's too bad. Whom do they have on the 40-man roster?
|45 Shane Costa||L/R||6-0||190||12/12/81|
|-- Coco Crisp||S/R||6-0||180||11/01/79|
|9 David DeJesus||L/L||6-0||190||12/20/79|
|2 Joey Gathright||L/R||5-10||185||04/27/81|
|11 Jose Guillen||R/R||6-0||210||05/17/76|
|35 Mitch Maier||L/R||6-2||205||06/30/82|
|24 Mark Teahen||L/R||6-3||210||09/06/81|
For one, I'm not sure why they felt the need to trade for CoCo Crisp, who (granted) is good with the glove and posted a not-horrible-for-centerfield .750 OPS last season. Still they gave up a pitcher with decent stats under team control for a few years yet.
Regardless, I'd like to think that the emergence of Count Chocula in center means that David DeJesus, who plays left field and center, might be a little more available. This is why I bring him up: he has a career OBP of .360. He's not superfast (last season's 11 SBs are a career high) or has a lot of power (last season's 12 homers are also a career high), but he gets on base. Did I mention that he hits left-handed?
Do you know of any teams that could use a left-handed leadoff hitter who plays centerfield and has a high OBP? One under team control through 2011 for cheap?
DeJesus had already been on Moustache's radar last December, a few weeks before the Brewers signed Cameron. Right around that time, a reporter for the Kansas City Star opined that DeJesus could be had:
The Royals are willing to trade him because they have a reasonable alternative in Joey Gathright and have two solid CF prospects (Jose Duarte and Derrick Robinson) who played last year in A-ball. But the only way they trade DeJesus is if they get similar value in return -- a young, proven, reliable player with a favorable contract.
That could be a No. 3 starter -- someone closer to a No. 2 than a No. 4; a corner-position player with some pop; or a long-term fit at catcher. Personally, I don't see that deal out there at the moment, but the Royals are willing to listen.
I can't imagine we'd have pitching to trade, and nothing jumps out at me for a power corner outfielder (though, I admit, my first thought immediately went to DeJesus + Grienke for Hart). However, in Angel Salome and Jonathan Lucroy, we have two catchers in our system who, IIRC, are well-regarded offensively, plus I think Lawrie (who is absent on our Asatte Ultra Strike corner on BCB!) is also spending time behind the dish. I wonder if one of them could pry DeJesus, especially given the extra CF the Royals have already.
Admittedly, this idea made a lot more sense before we picked up Cameron's option for 2009. However, given our current options for CF in 2010 (or in 2009 if Cameron gets hurt) --- TG Jr and, well, TG Jr --- I think it's worth pursuing. Even moreso if we can revive the Yankees' interest in Cameron and stock up on some much-needed pitching.