After spending 2003 through 2010 with the Royals, David DeJesus has turned into a journeyman of sorts. He was traded to Oakland in the winter of 2010, signed with the Cubs for 2012, then was traded on Monday to the Washington Nationals.
It looked like the Royals were going to see DeJesus back in the K for the first time since May 8, 2011 when he was with Oakland. That weekend, DeJesus went a combined 2-13, but his return to Kauffman Stadium was overshadowed by the major league debut of Eric Hosmer.
So now that he’s on the Nationals, there’s a chance to reflect on his return to Kansas City. Or is there? The Nationals put DeJesus on waivers right after acquiring him and he was claimed by another team. It’s possible that he’ll be moved prior to the Nationals trip to Kansas City for their weekend interleague series.
But here’s how baseball gets kind of weird sometimes. The team that claimed DeJesus – and the Nationals are expected to let him go rather than pull him back off waivers – is Tampa Bay who will face the Royals on Monday in a one game makeup of the snowed out game from May 2.
[UPDATE] DeJesus will join the Rays, so it will be Monday when he returns to much fanfare.
I think DeJesus was both overrated and underrated in his time as a Royal. He never had the star power that Johnny Damon, Mike Sweeney, or Jermaine Dye had prior to his debut, so he never stood out. In the dark ages of Royals baseball, he was a rare bright spot, and that inflates how he’s perceived. He did have a 108 OPS+ as a Royal though, and in many counting stats, he’s in the top 10 in team history:
- At bats (10th – 3355)
- Plate appearances (10th – 3799)
- Runs (10th – 501)
- Hits (10th – 971)
- Total bases (10th – 1431)
- Singles (10th – 678)
- Doubles (10th – 187)
- Triples (t-7th with Carlos Beltran – 45)
- Hit by pitch (3rd – 71)
- Sacrifice hits (10th – 35)
- Caught stealing (10th – 43)
A lot of tenth place standings, but DeJesus has a borderline Royals Hall of Fame case. The numbers give him a case. The legacy may not. He played during a period in which the Royals had one season with a .500 record or better (2003), and DeJesus played 12 games that year as a September callup.
But that’s the past, and DeJesus is the enemy now. Whether it’s with the Nationals or the Rays, he’ll end up back in familiar haunts and I’m sure there will be plenty of fans ready to applaud his years of service with the Royals.