Nationals trade just-acquired David DeJesus to Rays

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All that speculation about how the Nationals didn’t necessarily even want David DeJesus when they claimed him off waivers and then acquired him from the Cubs last week? Looks pretty spot, as they’ve now traded him to the Rays.

That means DeJesus’ stint with Washington lasted all of three games and four plate appearances, which makes general manager Mike Rizzo’s quotes about why he acquired the veteran outfielder pretty damn amusing.

DeJesus’ contract has a $6.5 million option or $1.5 million buyout for next season and the Nationals have a set outfield in Bryce Harper, Denard Span, and Jayson Werth, so it never made a whole lot of sense. However, in Tampa Bay he should play fairly regularly down the stretch (and possibly into the playoffs) and could have a sizable role for 2014.

DeJesus can play all three outfield spots and is usually good for an OPS around .750, including good on-base skills and modest power. Tampa Bay is sending Washington the standard player to be named later or cash considerations.

Mariners sign Ichiro to a minor league deal

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USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports that the Mariners will sign Ichiro Suzuki to a minor-league deal. If he makes the roster he’ll make $750,000. At least until he retires.

I say that because it seems quite clear that the idea here, telegraphed since last season, is to activate Ichiro for the Mariners’ series against the Oakland Athletics in Tokyo on March 20-21 and for hoopla surrounding it all. The Mariners and A’s will have a 28-man roster for that series, which is officially part of the regular season schedule, but it will be pared back down to 25 once games begin in the United States.

Suzuki, 45, hit .205/.255/.205 in 47 plate appearances through May 2 last season, at which point he agreed to be deactivated to join the Mariners’ front office. Many assumed Ichiro would announce his retirement later that season or during the offseason, but the Japan Series soon crystalized as an obvious way for him to offer his final farewell to both his American and his Japanese fans.

Unless of course he goes 6-10 with three doubles in that series, at which point everyone will be tempted to keep him on the roster past Japan. Which, given the Mariners’ rebuild and likely poor performance this coming season, wouldn’t exactly be hurting anyone, would it?