Tag:David DeJesus
Posted on: March 15, 2011 1:10 pm
 

Carter flashes power, but when will he arrive?

By Matt Snyder

Chris Carter is not a small man. He stands at 6-foot-4 and checks in at 245 pounds.

His amount of power isn't small either. The potential big-time slugger went yard twice Monday, including a prodigious shot off the left-field scoreboard. It was the first time this spring we've seen a glimpse of the kind of power he possesses, but there's more where that came from.

In 465 Triple-A at-bats last season, Carter connected for 31 home runs and 29 doubles. Since being drafted out of high school, the 24-year-old has destroyed pitching at every level of the minors, compiling 149 homers in 673 games (which multiplies out to 36 per 162 games).

Minor issues would be Carter's batting average (.258 last season) and strikeouts (138 last season in 125 games), but he's patient enough to erase those concerns. He took 73 walks in 2010, meaning his .365 on-base percentage (worlds more important than average) was vrey respectable.

Basically, it's not a matter of if the A's are going to slot his bat in the middle of the order, but when. And, boy, do they need his pop.

The A's finished 81-81 last season, yet the only teams that hit less home runs were the punchless Astros and Mariners. Only four teams had a lower slugging percentage.

With some seemingly stop-gap options in the house this season, it appears the A's are ready to relegate Carter to the minors one more season. Josh Willingam (left field), David DeJesus (right field) and Hideki Matsui (designated hitter) have been brought in. Willingham and Matsui have some power, but their ceilings aren't near as high as Carter's. Plus, Carter has already paid his dues in the minors and shown what he can do in Triple-A. He did struggle in a late recall last season, but struggling in your first 70 major-league at-bats is hardly anything unique.

The feeling here is Carter should be allowed to start at least four times a week with the big-league club to see how he can handle the majors this time around. Six years in the minors is plenty of time and he could very well be ready. If he is, he could be the centerpiece that bats like Matsui, Willingham and DeJesus support -- as none of those guys are feared enough (at least not anymore in Matsui's case) to change the complexion of the lineup on their own.

Carter will be. And it might just begin in 2011.

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Posted on: January 28, 2011 9:47 am
Edited on: January 28, 2011 1:58 pm
 

A's trying to trade for Chone Figgins

FigginsAll's quiet in baseball these days with arbitration the only story and a countdown to the beginning of spring training less than a month away.

However, if the A's get their way, there will be at least one more trade that gets the attention of the baseball world.

The San Jose Mercury News reveals that Oakland is trying to acquire third baseman Chone Figgins from the Mariners. With three years and $26 million left on his deal, the Mariners might be motivated to deal the 32-year-old for players that fit within their retooling phase. It is thought that Kevin Kouzmanoff and a pitcher would be headed to Seattle for Figgins if a trade is consummated.

Figgins had a poor debut in Seattle after years with the Angels, hitting just .259/.340/.306 although he did swipe 42 bases amid an attempt to shift to second base. With that experiment over, Figgins is slated to return to third, and the Mariners hope he can approximate his 2009 line of .298/.395/.393.

Oakland has been seeking a third baseman all winter. They chased Adrian Beltre for the second straight season and also flirted with Edwin Encarnacion, claiming him on waivers only to non-tender him. Clearly, they aren't sold on Kouz, who has a great glove but produced a .247/.283/.396 mark in his first season with Oakland, hitting 16 homers.

If the A's did acquire Figgins, he would become the perfect leadoff hitter for a club that would suddenly legitimately challenge the Rangers for superiority in the West. So far, Oakland has imported Josh Willingham, David DeJesus and Hideki Matsui to bolster the offense. However, all three are free agents next year and while the club remains at the Coliseum with no certain organizational future, it will be difficult to attract free agents to come -- or even for internal free agents to stay. GM Billy Beane has had to go the trade route in recent years to get his bats, so acquiring Figgins would add certainty to the offense over the next few years -- the club's already got plenty on its hands in filling holes after the year.

One such hole could be filled by Chris Carter, who is adamant the left-field job is his to lose -- even after Oakland acquired two left fielders in DeJesus and Willingham.

"I'm still thinking it's my job to lose, basically," Carter said. "It's a business. They want to win and make the team better. [Adding players] keeps it more competitive."

That's all well and good, but after Carter began his major league career with an 0-for-19 streak, his stock dipped in many people's eyes. He rebounded upon his September recall, but by then it was too late: he was ticketed for Triple-A again in 2010. The 24-year-old likely remains Oakland's left fielder or DH of the future, especially with the positions opening up after the year, but he'll have to serve as depth in 2011 for the A's. Even backup outfield is not an option as Ryan Sweeney and Conor Jackson have those spots locked down as well.

UPDATE: ESPN's Buster Olney says there could be a third team involved in the deal, with the Jays a possibility. If the Jays were able to snag Kouzmanoff, that would enable Jose Bautista to stay in right field.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: December 16, 2010 12:17 pm
Edited on: December 16, 2010 4:08 pm
 

A's swap for Nats' Willingham

Josh Willingham You know, it might be time to start keeping an eye on the Athletics.

They went 81-81 last season, and their weakness was clear: They pitched great, but they couldn't hit. But Oakland has made big moves on offense so far this winter and could be poised to make another. Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that the A's are in "serious discussions" to get outfielder Josh Willingham from the Nationals.

When you consider that the three outfielders who made the most starts for the A's last season combined for seven homers -- yes, seven -- they're looking at a big outfield upgrade. Coco Crisp played in just 75 games last season due to injuries, but if he returns to form he'll be productive in the leadoff spot. The A's got David DeJesus, a high average guy with a little power, in November. Adding Willingham, who's good for 20-plus homers when healthy, would give Oakland a formidable outfield.

The Nationals' motivation for moving Willingham would be money. He made $4.6 million last season and is arbitration-eligible, and Washington needs to pay Jayson Werth. They also could have other moves in the works, reportedly pursuing trades for pitchers Zack Greinke and Matt Garza and bidding on first basemen Adam LaRoche and Derrek Lee.

Rosenthal said the Nationals would get two minor leaguers from the A's in exchange for Willingham.

UPDATE: Buster Olney of ESPN.com says via Twitter the teams have a deal in principle, with the Nats getting "two young players, one of whom has major league experience."

-- David Andriesen

UPDATE : The deal is done. Washington receives fireballing reliever Henry Rodriguez, who can touch 100 mph, and minor-league outfilelder Corey Brown. Reports had GM Mike Rizzo demanding more for Willingham so this is a bit of a surprise, but the motivation may have been to get the left-fielder out of town after Rizzo refused to extend Willingham.

Rodriguez is the man with MLB experience and threw the second-fastest fastball in the bigs in 2010, touching 103.2 mph. He appeared in 29 games, hurling 27 2/3 innings of a 4.55 ERA, punching out 33 but walking 13. The 23-year-old will compete for the closer's job in Washington, which is wide open.

Brown, meanwhile, is a left-handed outfielder who appeared in Triple-A for the first time in 2010 as a 24-year-old. He hit just .193/.253/.378 in 148 plate appearances. He did, however, bash Double-A to the tune of .320/.415/.502 in 386 PA. With 22 stolen bases on the season, Brown could develop into a solid fourth outfielder for Washington.

Still, this package feels light for Willingham. Oh well, that's to Oakland's benefit who now have to figure out which starting outfielder hits the bench.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: November 10, 2010 8:44 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2010 8:57 pm
 

A's grab DeJesus for Mazzaro, Marks

DeJesus The Oakland Athletics struck to get a top outfielder in David DeJesus from the Royals on Wednesday, coughing up starting pitcher Vin Mazzaro and prospect Justin Marks.

As expected, Oakland dealt away some starting pitching depth after winning the bid for Japanese left-hander Hisashi Iwakuma to import some offense. DeJesus isn't a middle-of-the-order hitter, but will impact the game both on offense and defense. He has $6 million due him in 2011 before he will hit free agency as a 31-year-old.

DeJesus hit .318/.384/.443 with 23 doubles and five home runs in 394 plate appearances, tearing a tendon in his right thumb just before the trading deadline where he was rumored to be headed to the Giants. That ended his season, and now we know it also ended his Royals career.

He finishes his Kansas City career with a .289/.360/.427 line, cranking 61 home runs and 187 doubles over 876 games. DeJesus was the man to replace Carlos Beltran in center field before shifting to left in 2008.

Now, he'll man left with Coco Crisp in center field and Ryan Sweeney in right, with Rajai Davis likely to be nontendered. It's hardly a murderer's row, but all are capable on offense and will allow Oakland to turn its focus towards bolstering its offense in the infield or at the DH spot.

The A's don't plan on dealing any other starters, specifically Trevor Cahill, Brett Anderson, Gio Gonzalez or Dallas Braden, as Jeff Fletcher of AOL Fanhouse reports . The No. 5 starter will likely be filled via free agency, although Bobby Cramer may have something to say about that.

Fletcher also notes that DeJesus' salary represents one-third to the total money available for new players, Iwakuma not included. The team needs more power to be a legitimate contender for the division, and Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reports that Beane intends to address the power void.

To acquire DeJesus, the A's had to give up Vin Mazzaro, a right-hander who made 18 starts in his sophomore season, coming out of the bullpen for six additional games. He posted a 4.27 ERA, but walked 50 against 79 strikeouts in 122 1/3 innings.

The 23-year-old profiles as a back-of-the-rotation candidate, potentially ascending to the No. 3 spot. It's possible Mazzaro could spend 2011 as K.C.'s best pitcher, especially if Zack Greinke is traded. That's damning of the quality of play the Royals will be at in 2011, but Mazzaro's true value will come as being part of a rotation that incorporates players from the Royals' flush farm system.

Marks, 22, was plucked in the third round of the 2009 draft and made 24 starts and one relief appearance across Class A and high-Class A, with 109 2/3 innings out of 129 1/3 total coming in Class A. He had a 4.87 ERA, but did whiff 136 batters with decent command with a 3.4 BB/9. A left-hander, Marks will have every chance to succeed and could eventually develop into a late-inning reliever given his strikeout ability.

-- Evan Brunell

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Posted on: October 11, 2010 6:31 pm
Edited on: October 13, 2010 10:33 am
 

R.I.P. Royals: Help is on the way

As the sports world waits for the crowning of a champion, 22 other teams are busy preparing for spring training. What went wrong for these teams, and what does 2011 hold? MLB Facts and Rumors here at CBS Sports will be answering those questions through all of October. Today: The Kansas City Royals

Oh Royals, through the 70s and 80s, the team was the model franchise. Since the turn of the century, the team's only been a punchline. That wasn't much different in 2010.

WHAT WENT WRONG

Yuniesky Betancourt Ewing Kauffman died in 1993. That's been the reason for the last 17 years of failure.

Oh, on the field? This year? Beyond Yuniesky Betancourt (pictured) being the team's shortstop? OK, Zack Greinke took a step back from his Cy Young 2009. Worse, he looked like another guy in a Royals uniform -- and that's not a good thing. Greinke went 10-14 with a 4.17 ERA.

WHAT WENT RIGHT

How about Bruce Chen? Chen was 12-7 with a 4.17 ERA (the same as Greinke) -- but if you're looking long-term success, you're not betting on Chen.

Other positives? Joakim Soria may have been the best closer in the game, even if he didn't have too many games to close. Soria finished with 43 saves, a 1.78 ERA and 71 strikeouts and 16 walks in 65 2/3 innings.

The team also got rid of overpaid veterans like Kyle Farnsworth, Jose Guillen, Scott Podsednik and Rick Ankiel.

HELP ON THE WAY

Oh, is there ever.

Mike Moustakas The Royals have the deepest minor league system in the majors. Of Baseball America's 15-man Minor League All-Star Team, a full third were Royals.

The Royals are deep in position players (first baseman Eric Hosmer, catcher Wil Myers and third baseman Mike Moustakas (pictured)) and pitchers (lefty starters John Lamb and Mike Montgomery, reliever Tim Collins).

That's the good news, the bad news is with all this talent, it's still not ready for the big leagues in 2011, maybe 2012.

EXPECTATIONS FOR 2011

Same as they always are in Kansas City -- grim. As noted, there's help on the way and maybe some of those guys can make their debut late in the season, but this won't be the season for the Royals to make a move. There is a brighter days ahead, but they aren't in the 10-day forecast.

SUGGESTIONS FOR 2011

Don't raise ticket prices, because it's going to be another long year.

Greinke has started griping about not wanting to wait around for the Royals to get better, but he's still under contract through 2012. There's no reason to trade him this offseason, his value is lower than it should be and the asking price will be better in 2011 -- either at the trade deadline or after the season.

The Royals have already picked up the $6 million club option for outfielder David DeJesus, and he'll certainly bring something at the trade deadline next year.

There will certainly be plenty of suitors trying to pick up Soria, who is under team control through 2014. Listen, but unless bowled over for a deal, he's too valuable and under control for too long to move.

No fan is going to want to hear that they need patience, but there is actually hope for the Royals after so long without it. If half their prospects turn out as expected, they'll be the new Rays.

2011 PREDICTION

Same as it ever was. The Royals will be out of the picture by the All-Star break, and Ned Yost may even worry about his job. The only drama in September will be whether this team loses 100 games. But this time next year, there may be some excitement for 2012.

Check out the rest of the R.I.P. reports here.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Posted on: October 2, 2010 4:22 pm
 

Royals pick up DeJesus option

David DeJesus
In a decision you can file under "duh," the Royals announced Saturday that they will exercise their $6 million club option on David DeJesus. The outfielder was in the final guaranteed year of a five-year, $13.8 million contract.

DeJesus, 30, was having the best season of his career, batting .318, when he tore a ligament in his right thumb crashing into the outfield wall at Yankee Stadium. He had surgery July 26, short-circuiting the Royals' apparent plan to trade him prior to the non-waiver deadline (they were reportedly deep in talks with the Giants).

Whether they plan to keep him or still hope to get something back by moving him, locking him up for a seemingly bargain price of $6 million (as opposed to paying him a $500,000 buyout and making him a free agent) is a no-brainer for the Royals.

-- David Andriesen

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Category: MLB
Posted on: September 18, 2010 1:40 am
 

Royals haven't decided on DeJesus' option

David DeJesus The Royals are not yet sure if they want their best position player back at a 28 percent raise.

David DeJesus, currently recovering from surgery on his right thumb, said he hasn't been told if the team will pick up his option for 2011.

"I would like to know," he told the Kansas City Star 's Bob Dutton . "But I haven't heard anything yet. I want to be around longer, … Hey, let's do it."

General manager Dayton Moore wouldn't commit to the team picking up DeJesus' option.

"David has been a very productive player for us," Moore told Dutton. "He's been one of our most consistent players, offensively and defensively. He's a big part of our team."

And yet, Moore says he "is not prepared to say what we're doing at this point."

The team has until Oct. 15 to exercise the option.

DeJesus' season ended when he suffered a torn ligament in his right thumb on July 22 when he crashed into the wall at Yankee Stadium. He said he expects to hit off a tee in the next couple of days.

The 30-year old hit .318/.384/.443 with five home runs and 37 RBI in 91 games. For his career, he's a .289/.360/.427 hitter. He was a popular name at the trade deadline, but his injury kept Moore from moving him.

-- C. Trent Rosecrans

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Category: MLB
Posted on: July 27, 2010 6:19 pm
 

Bay sits with concussion symptoms

Mets outfielder Jason Bay was out of the lineup Tuesday with mild concussion symptoms stemming from a collision with the outfield wall last Friday in Los Angeles. He played the rest of the weekend series but apparently complained about the symptoms during the plane ride back to New York.

ESPNNewYork.com reported that Bay didn't think he'd be out long: "If all goes well, inside of a week," he said.

Another report said Bay was going on the disabled list, but it's not clear where that came from or whether that move is imminent.

At any rate, this probably takes Jeff Francoeur off the trade market, at least prior to Saturday's non-waiver deadline. With David DeJesus injured and lost for the year, and Corey Hart out for at least a few days with a wrist injury, the field of available outfielders is looking a bit thin outside the big names like Adam Dunn and Prince Fielder.

-- David Andriesen

For more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter.


 
 
 
 
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