David DeJesus was the first free agent that was signed under the Theo Epstein regime and the outfielder was productive for the Chicago Cubs during the 2012 season. DeJesus now enters a 2013 season that could be his last season with Cubs as the team has the option of exercising the outfielder’s option for the 2014 season. The Cubs may not be the team to make that decision as the team could look to trade DeJesus at some point this season.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe indicated (Via MLB Trade Rumors) that DeJesus may be on the trading block during the 2013 season and could serve as fit for the Philadelphia Phillies, Baltimore Orioles, or Boston Red Sox.
DeJesus rebounded well during the 2012 season from a 2011 season that saw the outfielder hit .240/.323/.376 with the Oakland Athletics. With the Cubs in 2012, DeJesus hit .263/.350/.403 while serving as the primary leadoff hitter for the Cubs. DeJesus started the 2012 season in right field, but ended the season serving as the Cubs starting center field.
Entering the 2013 season, DeJesus is penciled to be the Cubs’ starting center fielder once again with Nate Schierholtz serving as the starting right fielder. Both DeJesus and Schierholtz figure to solve as platoon partners with outfielder Scott Hairston. One factor that should not be overlooked is Brett Jackson.
Jackson struggled during the 2012 season. Jackson debuted for the Cubs in August but struggled with the team during the final two months of the season. Upon the conclusion of the 2012 season, Jackson was hitting .175/.303/.342 to go along with a strikeout percentage of 41.5 percent. Needless to say, the Cubs announced after the 2012 season that Jackson would start the 2013 season with the Iowa Cubs. Jackson, however, has other plans. Jackson has arrived to Spring Training with the mindset of making the Major League roster and being the team’s starting center fielder. Along with a determined mindset, Jackson has also adjusted his batting stance by lowering the placement of his hands. The same adjustment that Anthony Rizzo made after being traded from the San Diego Padres to the Cubs.
If Jackson is able to play his way onto the Major League roster to open the season, that would mean that the highly regarded prospect would serve as the team’s starting center fielder. Jackson is not going to be on the Major League team if he wasn’t going to an everyday player. That would then put DeJesus in an interesting position. DeJesus would likely shift to right field with Schierholtz serving as a reserve outfielder for the team. Hairston likely would still be a part of a platoon in right field. It goes without saying that the Cubs’ outfield would certainly be crowded if Jackson were to make the Major League roster out of Spring Training. Crowded to the point where a trade would appear to be a certainty. Cubs fans can continue to dream about the team being able to trade left fielder Alfonso Soriano, but assuming Jackson is opening day center fielder, a trade of DeJesus would appear to be in order.