After bouncing from Chicago to Washington to Tampa Bay during the past week, David DeJesus can probably unpack his suitcase for the rest of the season. But you can't blame the guy if he doesn't settle in and get comfortable in his new surroundings just yet. He might still nervously eye the calendar until the waiver trade deadline of Aug. 31 passes.
DeJesus' extended travel nightmare appears to have ended on Friday when the Washington Nationals traded him to the Tampa Bay Rays. The Nats dealt away the 33-year-old outfielder just four days after picking him up off waivers from the Chicago Cubs in one of the more baffling transactions we've seen this year. In exchange, Washington will receive a player to be named later or straight cash, homey (formally called "cash considerations").
So if you're keeping track, that means the Nationals gave up a player to be named later to the Cubs and could receive the same in return. What did the Cubs get out of this? They saved the $2.5 million he was set to be paid for the rest of this season, along with at least $1.5 million for his buyout (versus a $6.5 million club option) next year.
The Nats obviously now avoid that financial obligation as well. As the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore points out, GM Mike Rizzo effectively traded six more weeks of Roger Bernadina — who was designated for assignment to clear a roster spot — for four days of DeJesus and whatever prospect or cash the Rays end up handing over.
DeJesus looks like a nice pick-up for Tampa Bay, who needed another bat for a September battle with the Red Sox for the AL East title or wild-card consolation prize. He provides a left-handed hitter for the lineup, possible insurance for Luke Scott at designated hitter or Desmond Jenningsin center field. DeJesus can play all three outfield positions, which gives manager Joe Maddon some roster flexibility.
The Rays also signed Delmon Young to a minor-league deal this week. He's working his way back into shape with the team's Double-A affilliate in Montgomery, Ala.
For the Nationals, it's a decent recovery for a move that just didn't make a lot of sense. Was DeJesus really acquired to improve the team's left-handed hitting off the bench, as Rizzo rationalized? Perhaps putting the outfielder on waivers almost immediately after getting him was a procedural move.
Rizzo may have claimed DeJesus on waivers to prevent him from going to a rival, though that seems like a stretch with the Nats 14 games behind the Braves in the NL East and 9.5 games away from a wild-card spot. But the Cubs called Rizzo's bluff and took the opportunity to unload DeJesus' contract.
Or, as Kilgore speculates, maybe Rizzo thought he could flip DeJesus for more than whatever he would've had to trade to the Cubs. That view might depend on how much of a believer you are in Rizzo as the Nats' GM.
The DeJesus era in our nation's capital ends with four plate appearances. In that oh-so-brief stint, he batted 0-for-3 with one strikeout. Nats fans will surely talk for years about this, passing stories along to their grandchildren.