The Nats placed DeJesus on revocable trade waivers almost immediately after acquiring him from the Chicago Cubs on Monday, according to major league sources. The move by the Nationals could indicate that the team does not want to assume the remaining financial obligation to DeJesus, which amounts to about $2.5 million.
Well, to me that makes little sense. If you don't want to assume a player's contract, you shouldn't claim him in the first place, because that puts you at risk of doing exactly that -- being stuck with the contract. The Cubs could have done that; it was done by the Blue Jays in 2009 when the White Sox claimed Alex Rios. That, of course, involved a lot more money than $2.5 million. Andrea Comak of the Washington Times speculates:
That doesn't make a whole lot of sense to me either; it's not as if the Nats are in contention for anything. They're 16 games out of first place and 10½ games out of the wild-card lead.
The story gets even stranger -- could DeJesus return to the Cubs?
"I told his agent, and Theo (Epstein) told David directly that we're willing to talk about bringing him back at some point," general manager Jed Hoyer said Monday after DeJesus was dealt to the Nationals for a player to be named. Hoyer and manager Dale Sveum, who described DeJesus as a "father figure type of player," praised the outfielder for his numerous assets that are extremely valuable to a young team. "It's really important for a building team to have guys like that," Hoyer said of DeJesus, who helped Anthony Rizzo with an offseason program, lent support to Starlin Castro after Castro suffered a mental lapse on Saturday.
Reading between the proverbial lines, you can speculate that the Nats (or any other team that winds up claiming DDJ before the end of August) will decline DDJ's option and pay him the $1.5 million buyout, making him a free agent. Then, presumably, the Cubs could bring him back for less than the $6.5 million team option that was in his deal.
It's all very peculiar. For now, DeJesus remains with the Nationals, where he's a fourth outfielder behind the starting trio of Bryce Harper, Denard Span and Jayson Werth.