The A’s made a conscious effort last winter to upgrade their offense and adding veteran outfielder David DeJesus seemed like a nice way to upgrade the lineup. While GM Billy Beane’s moves looked great on paper, what Beane and the A’s got in return for all of their efforts was a mixed bag of inconsistencies.
Oakland sent over pitchers Vin Mazzaro and Justin Marks for Kansas City’s DeJesus this last winter with the hopes of improving their lineup. He was never going to add much power—Oakland’s biggest need entering the 2011 season—but the team did expect DeJesus to play exceptional defense and contribute as much as he could for the lineup.
Entering this season, DeJesus was a lifetime .289 hitter but had an injury shortened season the year before. He enjoyed success in his time with the Royals, though, and Oakland was hopeful that the veteran outfielder would add depth not only defensively but offensively.
The A’s invested two pitchers for DeJesus, but as most you probably already know, Oakland didn’t get much of a return for their investment. Beane and pretty much everyone else in Oakland was taken aback this year from DeJesus’s epic shortcomings.
After hitting .318/.384/.443 with 5 HR and 37 RBIs during his final season in Kansas City, DeJesus followed up those numbers with a weak inaugural season in Oakland this year. While he did stay relatively healthy this year, DeJesus saw drops in batting average, on base percentage, and slugging percentage.
He finished the year with a .240/.323/.376 slash line. He did hit 10 home runs this year for Oakland and drive in 46 RBIs, but the A’s didn’t get much else out of DeJesus this year. After posting an average WAR of 3.5 from the years 2005-10, DeJesus posted just a 0.6 WAR this year with Oakland. Furthermore, his oWAR (Offensive Wins Above Placement) was down from 22 in ’10 to 8 this year as well.
It’s become increasingly evident that the A’s will likely pass on the opportunity to bring DeJesus back for another year next season. The A’s seem interested in going young next season, meaning guys like Jai Miller, Michael Taylor, and Jermaine Mitchell are primed for some playing time next season.
The A’s did offer DeJesus arbitration last week, but under new CBA rules, the days of ranked free agents are now a thing of the past. DeJesus was previously ranked as a Type-B free agent prior to the new CBA.
Entering next season, DeJesus should find a team willing enough to sign him, but whether or not he’ll be starting for a major league team next year is uncertain. Based on the numbers he posted this year, he doesn’t exactly deserve to be a starter. Given his solid career, though, it’s difficult to imagine we’ve seen the last of David DeJesus.