Theo Epstein made his first move as the Cubs president of baseball operations today. He went out and signed free agent outfielder David DeJesus to a two year, $10 million dollar deal and a team option for 2014. Needless to say this was a very good signing.
Since 2005 DeJesus has been very productive, posting roughly 3 WAR per season. His triple slash for his career is .284/.356/.421. His .339 wOBA is slightly above average for his career. He won’t bring the Cubs a ton of power, his ISO is ,137 for his career but he will bring some other solid abilities with him. DeJesus has a really good eye at the plate, he only strikes out 13.4% for his career and walks 8.3% of the time. His 17 K% last year can be considered an outlier becaue his 24 O-Swing% was 3.5% higher than his career average. There’s also reason to expect that he hasn’t fallen off much either.
Last year he was worth -3.8 against the fastball but that was the first year that he was worth negative runs against the fastball so it’s reasonable to expect a bounce back. This leads us right to the next thing. His .274 BABIP was .042 points beneath his career BABIP so a bounce back year is almost certain. He’s also a solid defender, the last 3 years he’s had a UZR of 16, 2.5 and 7.5.
DeJesus will also gives the Cubs a good left handed bat in a line-up where most of their production comes from the right side. Chicago could still get another lefty bat or two but DeJesus helps the problem a little at least.
At $4.25 million per season ($1.5 million dollar buyout for 2014) DeJesus should easily outperform his salary. He needs to produce roughly 2 WAR per season, something that shouldn’t be overly difficult for him. Theo Epstein has always gotten good players with good deals but he’s also gotten some bad deals (Carl Crawford, Daisuke Matsuzaka) but as it stands right now Epstein got a good deal.