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nobody effs with dejesusIn a serious surprise, the Chicago Cubs have today traded outfielder David DeJesus to the Washington Nationals, against whom they begin a four-game series today.

Because of his reasonable contract, veteran presence, and adequate production in center field, DeJesus was expected not to clear waivers in August. If he was claimed on waivers, he could be traded, but only to the team that claimed him. At this point, it isn’t known whether DeJesus cleared waivers and was traded to the Nats, or was claimed by the Nats and subsequently traded.

Either way, it’s a surprise. Although Junior Lake’s emergence as a maybe-possible guy for 2014, DeJesus still offered the ability to play all over the outfield and offer quality at bats, particularly at the top of the lineup. The Cubs had control over him for 2014 on a $6.5 million option, which may have made him more attractive to the Nationals (though it makes for an expensive 4th outfielder).

Don’t let the PTBNL return get you down just yet. We’re approaching the end of the minor league season, and it could be that the Cubs are legitimately just choosing between a couple nice prospects. This way, the Cubs get a little more evaluation time.

Obviously we’ll have more on this as it comes out.

UPDATE: Carrie Muskat and Mark Gonzales both also report the trade. Brian Bogusevic will be activated from the disabled list, and will take DeJesus’s spot on the roster, per Gonzales. Given that the Cubs can also bring back Bogusevic on the cheap next year if they like him, it’s all the more understandable that they’d like to open up a spot for him for “try-out” purposes. Keep in mind, Ryan Sweeney will soon be back as well, and he’s another possible option for 2014.

UPDATE 2: The Cubs have confirmed. DeJesus for a PTBNL. Had this deal come at the Deadline, there would be no surprise at all, so I suppose – in terms of roster construction and long-term plan – there’s no surprise today, save for the fact that it was a waiver deal.

UPDATE 3: The money aspect of the deal breaks down thusly: the Cubs save about $1 million in salary this year, and then save the $1.5 million buyout on DeJesus’s 2014 option (the minimum to which they’d be obligated). While money hopefully wasn’t the motivator here, it obviously matters.

UPDATE 4: Speculating on the return, I’d think it would probably be in the range of what the Cubs got for Scott Hairston (also from the Nationals). That was pitching prospect Ivan Pineyro, who has thrown very well at High-A. He was a 20 to 30 organizational guy.

UPDATE 5: Although I’ll discuss this more later, Ken Rosenthal says DeJesus was claimed on waivers by the Nationals, which gave the Cubs the opportunity to be off the hook for the $2.5 million referenced above. If that was the approach all sides were taking, the return here might be pretty slim. In other words, had he cleared waivers, it would have been possible for the Cubs to chip in some salary to land a decent prospect (not every team views a $6.5 million 3rd/4th outfielder as a good investment). Since he did not, and the Cubs and Nats worked out a deal, I’m thinking the money was the biggest part of the deal from the Cubs’ perspective.

  • Chef Brian

    The fans that calling the owners cheap and crying at every cost saving move, are really missing the big picture. Sure Trib Co. had some big payrolls when they were trying to sell the team, but they allowed every other area in the organization suffer. At least the Ricketts are putting that cash into the Amateur side including international prospects and the stadium. They have plan and they have been forthcoming with the application of said plan. This is the healthiest Cubs team from a foundation stand point then I have ever seen. Hopefully it all goes according to plan. I think they had to try it this way, since nothing else has worked. The Dejesus trade is so inconsequential. He was nothing special, and he was gone next year anyways. Why pay his salary when someone else will take him off our hands. There are fans on here acting like this has some deeper meaning. It doesn’t.

    • Hawkeye

      Ricketts is not putting the same amount of money into the organization as a whole as the tribune company did. That’s just a fact, now we can argue that “free agents” are an overpriced waste and etc. One thing that can’t be argued is the organization is not putting the same amount of money towards players as it once did. I keep hearing that they will when the time is right, but in my mind until I see it I will still be Leary of the ownerships true commitment to win.

      • frank

        You’re right when you say they’re not spending the same amount on players for the major league team right now, but into the organization as a whole? They’re spending way more on the amateur draft, international signings, spring training and international facilities, scouting, front office talent, and on the park (soon) than the Tribune ever did–so I’m interested in seeing the numbers. Not trying to be sarcastic or anything–just wondering about the numbers.

        • Hawkeye

          Its obvious their not spending the same on MLB players. I was referring to players throughout the organization, minors and the big club, and its not really even close. I think some are so captivated by this rebuilding process that they think the organization took the 50 million from the mlb payroll and spent that on international players and the draft. That’s not even remotely true.

          • Hawkeye

            Also what international facilities have been built. To my knowledge the Dominican Academy is still a blueprint.

            • Hawkeye

              I would like to see the numbers as well but unless there paying Theo and Jed 40 million its no where near where it used to be.

            • Mick

              The academy has been available for many years and we currently have two teams there D-1 and D-2 with some good coaches who have been in our system for awhile. Basically it was re-modeling especially with the sleeping quarters.

            • King Jeff
              • Chef Brian

                Thanks King Jeff !

      • Chef Brian

        Please Trib routinely chose players based on signability instead of talent and like I said, Trib only spent money on high priced free agents and on amateurs when they had decided to make the team more attractive for the sale. The Cubs are still paying off most of the over priced trib signings, so their payroll is still quite high. Ricketts is putting money back into the team.

    • wilbur

      You are right about everything except one thing, the ones posting all the compaints about payroll and being mid market etc, aren’t cubs fans, most are trolls, sox fans, shills for players or their agents. Cubs fans don’t care about that nonsense, and they’ve seen what overpaying for high dollar free agents can do to your team, it can set back your success by years.

  • Josh

    I just don’t get this trade, it seemed like Zeus was gonna be the clubhouse leader with Soriano gone. After Castro got pulled the other day he did what a leader is supposed to do. This one I just don’t get!!!

  • North Side Irish

    Ken Rosenthal ‏@Ken_Rosenthal 5m
    Sources: DeJesus back on waivers. Do #Nationals really want him? Story: http://msn.foxsports.com/mlb/story/washington-nationals-david-dejesus-chicago-cubs-trade-081913

    I’m very confused…

  • North Side Irish

    Buster Olney ‏@Buster_ESPN 5m
    Could turn out to be that WAS acquisition of David DeJesus was just a waiver-claim mistake. Not really a fit…We’ll see if they move him…

    • Kyle

      That’s nonsensical. If it was a mistake and they don’t want him, Nats could have forced the Cubs to give him up for free rather than give up a PTBNL.

      • aaronb

        Agreed,

        Who the hell has ever heard of an accidental claim THEN A TRADE made by mistake? Next they are going to tell us that Soriano’s 8 year contract was a clerical error.

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

        If it was an accident the Nationals could have rescinded their claim. I have no idea what Olney is thinking here.

        Every player on the roster is routinely passed through waivers (or tried to be passed through waivers) right around August 1. I don’t see any reason why Washington would not handle DeJesus the exact same way once they added him. To me this looks like nothing more than business as usual.

        • QCfan

          Explain how the Nats could rescind the claim? Thought the waiving team had all the power to pull back, trade or hand over.

  • Eternal Pessimist

    Hoyer was talking about how he may not be done with Chicago, talking about the possibility of rejoining the Cubs in the future…thought that was called tampering.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Luke

      Not in this context, I don’t think so. Those sorts of comments are made pretty frequently by a lot of front offices all around baseball. If it were tampering the Commish would have cracked down by now – or the Union would. I see nothing to worry about on that front.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    Wouldn’t surprise me if they jumped before they realized he had a 1.5 mil buyout on the option.

  • BlameHendry

    welp if the trade was “accidental” I know I know would love to just reverse the trade and take DeJesus back for that PTBNL… He’s no impact player and .250 doesn’t cut it for a starter on a contending team but the Cubs aren’t contending and his mentor/leadership role is much more valuable to this young team than any amount of offense he could provide in a lost season. With Soriano gone I thought it was even more important to hang on to DeJesus. I really liked how he handled Castro the other day and I wish we had more players with that kind of presence… not less of them…

  • Cubswin

    Dejesus back on waivers…. Maybe they didn’t really want him. Probably seeing if someone will take the money off their hands. Buyers remorse?

  • johnny chess Aka 2much2say

    Washington put him back on waivers to have the ability to dump him if they fail to make a run.

  • ssckelley

    I think it is a trade and flip deal. The Nats were a little ways down the list for waiver priority, they might be looking for a better trade partner a little further upstream like the Pirates.

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