Wednesday marked one of the first strikes of what should amount to an intriguing offseason as multiple sources reported that the Kansas City Royals have traded outfielder David DeJesus to the Oakland A’s for pitchers Vin Mazzaro and Justin Marks.

Having won the rights to Japanese right-hander Hisahi Iwakumi (assuming they can reach a contract agreement with him) to go along with Brett Anderson, Trevor Cahill, Gio Gonzalez and Dallas Braden, the A’s had excessive starting pitching. 

The Royals, who are a team rebuilding with their future coming up through the minor leagues, really had no need for the 30-year-old DeJesus (he’ll turn 31 in December).

When you look at it in that perspective the trade makes sense for both teams.  However, let’s take a look at the fantasy fallout of the move and who is ultimately affected.

Mazzaro has the talent to be a middle-to-back of the rotation pitcher, despite his 4.27 ERA in 122.1 innings for the A’s in 2010 (based on a realistic BABIP of .289 and strand rate of 71.9 percent).  The 2005 third round pick posted a career minor league ERA of 3.98 and WHIP of 1.37.  The biggest negative is that his strikeout rate was a meager 6.8 and walk rate was 3.2.

The strikeouts are concerning because it gives us reason to believe that his K/9 of 5.8 in 2010 is realistic, but there is upside with a fastball that tops out in the mid-90s. It’s hard to project until we see it. 

That certainly hurts his value, and it doesn’t look like he’s going to be a good value pick in Kansas City.  He’s not likely to get many victories, and without strikeouts it’s going to take a lot of luck to make him usable.  He’s still better left for the waiver wire.

Marks split time between two levels of the Minor Leagues, going 6-13 with a 4.87 ERA and 136 K over 129.1 innings.  At this point he’s a non-factor.

The deal from Oakland’s side is a little more interesting.  They certainly weren’t in need of an outfielder, with Rajai Davis, Coco Crisp, Ryan Sweeney, Conor Jackson and Jack Cust already in the mix.  Granted, Jackson and Cust both could be cut loose, but where are the A’s getting power out of the outfield?

With Daric Barton at first base and no power option in the outfield, they certainly appear to be a team built around small ball.  The move also tells us that the A’s do not believe Chris Carter is ready for regular playing time, unless he is going to be the full-time DH (though there has been talk of them signing a veteran to fill that role). 

He is the potential power bat that the team desperately needs, so that wouldn’t be a huge surprise but we’ll need to wait until the rest of the offseason plays out.

As for DeJesus himself, he was a low-end fantasy option prior to the trade.  Yes, he hit .318 in 2010, but that came courtesy of a .355 BABIP so it’s hard to imagine him being able to replicate it.  He had little power, with a career high of 13 HR, and now he’s moving to a cavernous ballpark.  He also brings little speed to the table, with a career high of 11 SB.

In other words, if you are lucky, you are getting an outfielder who is 10/10 with a moderate average.  What’s to like about that?

What are your thoughts on the deal?  Who is the big winner?  Who is the big loser?

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