Meet David DeJesus, the right fielder

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David DeJesus headshot.jpgDavid DeJesus tells Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star that he’s cool with moving to right field:

“It’s one of those things,” DeJesus said. “I know I had a good year in
left. But we’re a team that needs a right fielder. Trey called me, and
now I’m a right fielder. I’m going to play wherever they put me in the
lineup.”

DeJesus, 30, has made only 16 starts in right field during his major league career, but was asked to make the switch after the Royals inked Rick Ankiel to play center field and Scott Podsednik to play left. Only Carl Crawford fared than better than DeJesus among major league left fielders in UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) last season. DeJesus did not make a single error in 1239 1/3 innings overall (includes three games in center and two games in right).

Factoring in his 4.9 career UZR/150 in center field (481 starts), far surpassing Ankiel (granted, in limiting showings) and Podsednik, I’m surprised that the Royals didn’t just go with their best defensive player in center. But what do I know, I blog in my pajamas while eating Fruity Pebbles and Dayton Moore, um, general manages.

Report: Yankees could be in on Nolan Arenado

Nolan Arenado
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The Yankees appear to have moved on from free agent Manny Machado this winter, but could they be turning their attention to Rockies superstar Nolan Arenado? That’s the idea floated by Andy Martino of SNY, who hears that GM Brian Cashman has been involved in recent discussions concerning the third baseman. No official comments have been made to the press yet, though, and it’s not clear whether the Yankees would prefer to pursue Arenado prior to the 2019 season or partway through it.

The 27-year-old infielder earned his fourth consecutive All-Star nomination, Silver Slugger, and Gold Glove award in 2018 after slashing .297/.374/.561 with 38 home runs, a .935 OPS, and 5.7 fWAR across 673 plate appearances. There’s no question he’s provided immense value to Colorado’s lineup over the last half-decade, and his consistency and incredible power at the plate helped form the basis of the record $30 million arbitration figure he presented to the team last week. The Rockies countered at $24 million, however, and in doing so may have jeopardized their chances of convincing the infielder to forego free agency in 2020 and take a long-term deal instead.

Assuming he declines to negotiate an extension with the Rockies, Arenado’s decorated résumé and career-best 2018 numbers should attract plenty of interest around the league — a reality that could put considerable pressure on the Yankees (or any other interested party) to finesse a deal sooner rather than later. For now, the club is prepared to enter the 2019 season with hot-hitting third baseman Miguel Andújar, whom Martino speculates would be the “centerpiece” of any trade with Colorado.