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Rays announce two-year deal with David DeJesus

Nov 6, 2013, 11:19 AM EDT

David DeJesus AP

Making official what was reported earlier this week, the Rays and David DeJesus have agreed to a two-year contract extension that includes a third-year team option.

DeJesus gets $10.5 million guaranteed and then Tampa Bay will have a $5 million option on his age-36 season in 2016. He’s coming off a two-year, $10 million deal signed with the Cubs and that contract included a $6.5 million option or $1.5 million buyout for 2014. So this is a nearly identical pact.

DeJesus had a pretty typical year, hitting .251 with eight homers and a .729 OPS in 122 games for the Cubs and Rays. His offensive production is slightly below par for a corner outfielder, but clearly the Rays feel his plus defense makes up for it and then some. Expect him to start every day versus right-handers and sit versus most left-handers in 2014.

  1. stex52 - Nov 6, 2013 at 1:48 PM

    Sounds pricey for a platoon player. But TB management usually knows what they want,

    • proudlycanadian - Nov 6, 2013 at 2:06 PM

      There are a lot of platoon players on that team. Consequently, the overall team result is greater than the sum of the parts.

    • buddaley - Nov 6, 2013 at 2:59 PM

      If we measure his value by WAR, and he produces 1 WAR, the contract is about right. If he produces nearer 2 WAR, which is what he is projected to do, the Rays have a bargain.

      In any case, calling him a platoon player short changes him a bit. He is the long side of the platoon, almost certain to get 400-500 PAs a year. When not starting, he provides value on the bench as a pinch hitter or defensive replacement. And his ability to play all 3 outfield positions makes him valuable as depth should there be an injury or a need for someone to fill in. The Rays value versatility, and defensively he provides that because he can play CF without embarrassing himself.

      Although he has recently been awful against LH pitchers, his broad base of skills make him more valuable than many strictly platoon players. He may not be outstanding in any one area, but offensively he puts the ball in play, makes decent contact, walks at a reasonable rate without striking out too much, has some gap power and runs the bases well although he does not steal efficiently.

      With a .365 OBP vs RH pitchers, he makes a useful leadoff hitter against them, something the Rays have lacked recently.

      I don’t want to exaggerate his value, but $5 million is a reasonable price-even for the Rays to pay-for a player like DeJesus. And being committed to just 2 years makes it even more advantageous. If the Rays can pair him with a $2-3 million RH left fielder who provides even 1 WAR, they have a real bargain. In fact, with Sean Rodriguez on the roster and possibly Brandon Guyer as well, they may already have an even more financially valuable pairing.

    • mick2014 - Nov 6, 2013 at 4:04 PM

      You could have saved that $10 million by replacing him with any minimum salary minor leaguer coming up as a rookie.

      • pipkin42 - Nov 6, 2013 at 6:10 PM

        Except that DeJesus is probably a 2-WAR player, and your average minor league call-up is, by definition, a 0-WAR player. That means the Rays seem to be willing to pay about $5 million/win. Which, when you think about how much money Robinson Cano, a 6-7 WAR player most years, is about to get, is probably about right.

    • indaburg - Nov 6, 2013 at 4:38 PM

      That’s what I thought too, stex, but as bud mentioned, he’s the long end of the platoon. The Rays are not usually in the paying market value business so they’re taking a bit of a gamble that an aging player produces at above his WAR. But, the Rays are run by a smart bunch. I hope they’re right. Small budget teams have a slim margin for error.

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