In essence, that means DeJesus might not be around for all that long, after all.
This is a strange bit of news, and I’m not entirely sure what to make of it, but there are a couple of theories here.
First, it’s possible that the Nationals simply made a mistake putting in a waiver claim on DeJesus, which then led to them working out a trade with the Cubs. That theory was suggested by ESPN’s Buster Olney.
It’s also possible that the Nats put in their claim on DeJesus in an attempt to block him from going to a rival team or a team ahead of them in the standings, like the Braves or Reds. But with the Nats so far back in the standings (currently 16 games back of the Braves in the division, 10 1/2 games back of the Reds in the wild card), do they really need to be blocking players from going elsewhere?
Another scenario is that after acquiring DeJesus, the Nats put him back on waivers just to see what else is out there. They might be willing to eat some of the money remaining on DeJesus’ contract, and could feel that doing so would give them a shot at landing a decent prospect from a contending team.
General manager Mike Rizzo said yesterday that DeJesus is someone the Nats have been eyeing for some time and that they tried to work out a deal for him before the non-waiver trade deadline. Rizzo feels DeJesus improves the left-handed side of the Nats’ bench immediately and was an upgrade over Roger Bernadina, who was released to clear a spot on the 25-man roster.
But manager Davey Johnson essentially said that he doesn’t have much need for DeJesus the rest of this season, saying that because of where the Nats are in the standings, he’s going to lean towards giving playing time to some of the Nats’ younger players (read: Tyler Moore) when he takes one of his three regular outfielders out of the lineup.
Regardless, the Nats now are on the hook for around $2.5 million still owed to DeJesus (around $1 million left for this season and the $1.5 million buyout on his team option for next season), and they’re apparently trying to clear that money. While DeJesus is a great clubhouse presence and a versatile outfielder, he doesn’t seem to be a great fit with the Nats, largely because of their record and the money still owed to the 33-year-old.
DeJesus’ waiver period ends Wednesday, so we’ll see what becomes of all this later in the week.