If you adopted Major League Baseball for a lot of the this century, you in all probability bear in mind David DeJesus. The now-retired outfielder posted a strong profession as half of some totally different groups from 2003-15, throughout which he amassed 25.5 fWAR. DeJesus spent one in every of his seasons in Oakland, and although he didn’t have a banner 12 months then, the franchise remains to be benefiting from his acquisition – one that might pay dividends for at the very least a number of extra years.
Back in November 2010, DeJesus was coming off one of the productive seasons of his profession. Although he solely performed in 91 video games that 12 months with the Royals, DeJesus batted .318/.384/.443 (127 wRC+) with 2.5 fWAR. However, after spending the primary eight seasons of his profession in Kansas City, the non-contenders traded him and his $6MM wage to Oakland for pitchers Vin Mazzaro and Justin Marks. The Royals obtained little to no worth from both of these gamers, although. Mazzaro threw 72 1/three innings of 6.72 ERA ball of their uniform, and the Royals dealt him to the Pirates after that. Marks tossed simply two frames in KC (each in 2014) and was out of the group after that.
Oakland made out much better, although it took a while for that to grow to be the case. Both the workforce and DeJesus underwhelmed in 2011, wherein the A’s went 74-88 and DeJesus noticed his line plummet to .240/.323/.376 (96 wRC+) with 1.7 fWAR over 506 journeys to the plate. DeJesus grew to become a free agent after that, and the A’s let him depart for the Cubs on a two-12 months, $10MM contract (enjoyable truth: He was president of baseball operations Theo Epstein’s first free-agent signing in Chicago). So the commerce was near a wash for the A’s, proper? Not fairly.
As MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes wrote when DeJesus joined the Cubs, “DeJesus was offered arbitration by the A’s last week, so they’ll receive a supplemental draft pick in 2012 for their loss.”
This is the place it will get good for the Athletics. With choice No. 47, the one the membership obtained for DeJesus, it selected a Georgia-born highschool first baseman named Matt Olson.
“The A’s see Olson as a future middle-of-the-order hitter,” Baseball America wrote on the time. And although Olson was lengthy a properly-regarded a part of the A’s system, he was by no means a premium prospect throughout the league. Now, although, he’s one of the invaluable gamers on the A’s and among the many most properly-rounded first basemen within the sport.
After a run as a productive minor leaguer, Olson made it to Oakland in 2016, although he struggled over a mere 26 plate appearances. The subsequent season, nevertheless, Olson became a monster on the MLB degree. The lefty swinger racked up 216 PA and slashed .259/.352/.651 (164 wRC+) with 24 residence runs. To this level, that has been Olson’s lone elite exhibiting as a hitter, however that’s to not say he hasn’t been simply above common since then. Dating again to 2018, Olson has slashed .256/.342/.495 (126 wRC+) with 65 homers over 1,207 PA. Those numbers, to not point out his all-world protection, helped him publish 7.three fWAR throughout the earlier two seasons.
Among all main leaguers courting again to 2018, Olson ranks seventh in Ultimate Zone Rating (18.1) and eighth in Defensive Runs Saved (31). One of the few higher defenders than Olson has been teammate and third baseman Matt Chapman. He and Olson comprise one of many premier nook infield tandems within the recreation, they usually’ve executed it at reasonably priced costs for low-finances Oakland. That’s going to begin altering quickly – b0th gamers will enter arbitration for the primary of three potential journeys subsequent winter. Whether the A’s will have the ability to hold both round past their arb years stays to be seen, however there’s no denying they’ve already gotten glorious worth from the 2. In Olson’s case, all of it started with a commerce that didn’t carry probably robust returns to start with.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.