Giants Interested in David DeJesus?
Amidst the Corey Hart rumors, there’s one name out there that may be a little more affordable and lot more effective. Royals outfield David DeJesus has come up in talks, as Henry Schulman claims that a top talent evaluator was at the Giants/Mets game last night. The real question here is what the 30 year-old will cost the Giants.
Per usual, the discussion begins with Jonathan Sanchez. Lefty Malo touched briefly on Sanchez’ trade value, pointing out both his biggest strengths and most glaring weaknesses. Think Oliver Perez back when he was actually an effective pitcher if you want an accurate portrait of Sanchez’ ceiling. On one hand, the guy has a deceptive delivery, a good fastball, and solid offspeed offerings. The downside? At the age of 27, he still has no idea where the ball is going. He runs up high pitch counts, walks a ton of hitters, and frequently exits games in the 5th inning.
My biggest concern in dealing Sanchez for anybody at this point is the fact that there’s really no one in the system who could step in and replace his value in the starting rotation (no, Dontrelle Willis will not be an option). You then have to weigh the following: will the added offense we get out of a David DeJesus or Corey Hart improve the team more than losing Sanchez will? It’s hard to say.
That said, I would be completely on board with acquiring DeJesus in a mid-level prospect-laden deal. With the Royals in severe rebuilding mode (as they have been for the last decade or so), the right minor leaguers may be enough to pry DeJesus away. He has a team-controlled option for 2010 worth $6 million, so he’s relatively inexpensive. With a career line of .290/.368/.428, he would represent a solid upgrade in the outfield and plays solid enough defense in right and center field. He’s in the midst of a more sustainable career year than Corey Hart in that he’s walking more often, striking out less, and making solid contact on a consistent basis, as evidenced by his 21% line drive rate.
The reality that the Royals would be willing to overlook Jonathan Sanchez though is unlikely. Sanchez is a young, affordable arm, although in my opinion he may have reached his potential already. He’s entering the prime years of his career at 27; odds are if he can’t throw strikes now, he isn’t going to learn anytime soon. His walks per 9 innings rate hasn’t seen a significant decrease at any level (his BB/9 from the last four years: 4.85, 4.27, 4.85, 4.60 respectively). He’s always going to be a high strikeout/high walk rate pitcher; to hope that he’ll suddenly cut his walk rate in half would be more than I could stomach.
If the only option at this point though is DeJesus for Sanchez straight up, I’d have to say no thanks. Through all of Sanchez’ flaws, he’s still one of the best #4 starters in the NL. On any other team, he could be a #2 or #3 guy, and as such provides us with a luxury that not many other teams can afford. Going into the dog days of summer, rotational depth is more important than adding a bat that will marginally help an offense that may not need too much assistance as it is.
If yesterday’s game was any indication, the old Pablo Sandoval may be back, Buster Posey can still hit like the illegitimate love-child of Zeus and Anubis, and Tim Lincecum is still very, very good. If there’s a deal out there that can net us a halfway decent bat and not cost us an integral part of pitching staff, I’d be very much on board. Until then, I’d say the best approach is to stay patient and see if anything arises in the next couple weeks before the deadline.