The first semi-significant trade of the offseason went off on Wednesday as the Oakland A’s acquired OF David DeJesus from the Kansas City Royals for RHP Vin Mazzaro and LHP Justin Marks.

There are two sides to every trade, so let’s take a look at the trade from the A’s perspective and the Royals perspective.


DeJesus is finally out of Kansas City

For the Royals, it was either trade DeJesus now or trade him during the season. He is a free agent at the end of the 2011 season and was no way he was A. Going to come back to Kansas City and B. The Royals weren’t going to pay him to come back.

DeJesus has always been a solid player for the Royals, but the reality is that he was a good player on a bad team.

As Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus said on Twitter, DeJesus is the American League equivalent of Nate McLouth on the Pittsburgh Pirates. Great call by Kevin.

Put DeJesus on the Boston Red Sox or Philadelphia Phillies, he bats seventh or eighth. On the Royals, he bats third.

While the Royals will most likely struggle again in 2011, they aren’t building for 2011, they are building for 2012 and 2013. That’s where Mazzaro and Marks come into play.

Mazzaro is a 24-year-old right-handed pitcher from New Jersey, who had a 4.72 ERA in 213.2 Major League innings with the A’s. He throws a fastball, slider and change.

If Mazzaro is going to have success at the Major League level, he needs to work on his fastball. His velocity decreased by two mph in 2010 from 2009. His other pitches are plus pitches, so he needs to work on locating his fastball in KC.

Marks is a 22-year-old left-handed pitcher, who has a 5.29 ERA in two career minor league seasons. He averaged 9.5 K’s/9 in 2010.

For the A’s, this trade is a little puzzling to me. I understand that the A’s have a surplus of pitching, but why trade two young pitchers for an average outfielder, who doesn’t have anything different than what their current crop of outfielders have?

The A’s already have Ryan Sweeney, Conor Jackson, Jack Cust, Coco Crisp, and Rajai Davis on the roster. Not only do they have those five, but they also have Michael Taylor waiting in the wings.

The A’s now have seven outfielders for three spots. My guess is that they will non-tender Jackson or Cust or both.

Regardless of who they cut, DeJesus really doesn’t solve the A’s’ offensive problems. The A’s need a guy or two in the middle of their lineup who can hit 35-plus home runs.

They don’t need a guy like DeJesus who is going to hit around .290 with 10 HR’s. The A’s have enough of those guys.

It’s really hard to score runs by singling teams to death.

The A’s have a very good chance to be a sleeper team in 2011. But they really need more offense. DeJesus is a start, but they need a lot more than him to take the next step next year.

I had the A’s as a sleeper team for Carl Crawford, but that is out of the question now.

Back in June, I looked at the pros, cons, and trade market for DeJesus.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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