|DeJesus Trade Shows Royals Want to Win||| Print |||Send|
Written by Daniel Paulling (Contact & Archive) on November 10, 2010
KANSAS CITY - David DeJesus is a fine baseball player.
That's why the Royals trading him Wednesday to the Athletics for pitcher Vin Mazzaro and a pitching prospect is actually a sign the Royals want to be a great ballclub.
Yeah, DeJesus has a career .360 on-base percentage. Not great, not bad. Yeah, DeJesus plays okay defense in the outfield. Not great, not bad. Yeah, DeJesus has decent speed. Not great, not bad.
Here's the thing. DeJesus is just a fine baseball player. And that's been the Royals' problem of late. Losing ballclubs are filled with those guys you just hope to improve upon but never can. Rearranging the chairs on the Titanic is the cliché way to say it.
Look at their recent free agent signings - Jose Guillen, Bruce Chen, Jason Kendall, Scott Podsednik and Rick Ankiel. All had some positives when joining the Royals. Guillen had power potential. Chen had had some success in the past. Kendall was a veteran who could help a young pitching staff. Podsednik had speed. Ankiel, well, you can only go so far.
These players are just stopgap options. These aren't the types of players that start and play significant roles on contending teams. They're the types of players that get the everyday job while the club waits for prospects to develop.
DeJesus is one of these players. Sure, he's in a slightly higher echelon but consider: he has never hit more than 13 home runs; his highest OBP in a (nearly) full season is .366; he's got a career .427 slugging percentage; he has been caught stealing (43) nearly as many times as he's stolen a base (47).
He is, in a sense, a symptom of what ails the Royals. He isn't part of the cure. He is one of those players that teams like the Royals throw out there every year. Sure, he looks great on the media guide. He does a lot for the team and in the community.
But when you get to season's end, you just wish you had a little more. More power. More stolen bases. More everything.
Trading him is a sign that the Royals are actively seeking more. They're willing to let future leadoff hitter Jarrod Dyson play in the major leagues. Sure, it hurts to lose a fan favorite. But it hurts even more to lose.
By the time the Royals are ready to win, DeJesus will be getting paid more than he's worth. He'll be 31 next season and a free agent after that. Some team will be happy to have him. He's a fine player.