The two-year contract between free agent outfielder David DeJesus and the Chicago Cubs is official, as the team announced the deal on Twitter. The deal also includes a club option for the 2014 season, and the contract guarantees DeJesus $10 million, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com.
DeJesus, 30, will take over as the starting right fielder for Chicago next season. Before this move, there was speculation that the Cubs could promote top prospect Brett Jackson for Opening Day to play center field and slide Marlon Byrd over to right, but now it seems more likely that they keep Jackson in Triple-A to open the season. The other possibility now is a trade of Byrd or maybe even Alfonso Soriano, which would open up another full-time outfield spot for Jackson. Byrd's a free agent after the season.
2011 wasn't a great year for DeJesus, but he was still a valuable piece thanks to his defense and base-running skills. He turned in a below-average .240/.323/.376 line, but that should see a bump while moving from the Oakland Coliseum to Wrigley Field, and he's also a plus defender in right and an above-average runner to boot. Considering that the deal only covers two years at $5 million annually, this is a nice little way for Theo Epstein and company to begin to build a new team.