DeJesus wants to be part of the Cubs’ turnaround
BY GORDON WITTENMYER firstname.lastname@example.org July 9, 2013 10:25PM
Updated: July 9, 2013 11:58PM
David DeJesus writhed in pain on the warning track after spraining his shoulder crashing into the wall at Citi Field in New York last month. And he doesn’t exactly enjoy watching his team try to win games — and stay intact — without him while he works to return from the disabled list.
But he never wanted to leave Chicago, either. And the timing of his injury isn’t lost on the versatile outfielder, who was one of the Cubs’ top trade assets until the injury.
“I don’t ever want to get hurt. And it’s tough to watch these games and not be able to do something to help the team out,” he said. “But at the end, on the other side, is if our family could stay in Chicago and stay with the Cubs’ organization, it’s definitely ... I don’t know what the word would be.”
A blessing in disguise? A silver lining?
Whatever it is, DeJesus will take it if it means staying with the Cubs. DeJesus, who still is working through some painful swings about a week into light batting practice, is on track for a return near the end of the month, too late to trade by the July 31 non-waiver deadline. And with a contract that pays $4.25 million this year and includes a club-friendly $6.5 million option, DeJesus certainly would not clear waivers for a possible August trade.
That means he’ll last the season with the club and almost certainly will have the option exercised in the fall, whether the Cubs try to trade him at that point or not.
“I love Chicago. I love playing here,” he said. “If I can be a part of the team changing over and bringing the winning feeling to Chicago — we’ve been playing some good baseball the last month. I want to be a part of it. I want to get back healthy. I want to be a guy they can rely on.”
Some in the organization believe the Cubs are a pitcher or two — and some tighter defense — away from turning a competitive corner.
“I think I’m a player that can help the organization out and go through [those] times,” DeJesus said. “I’m a guy that can mentor the guys and can play the game the right way and who’s a good guy in the clubhouse.
“I would love to stay here as long as possible and help us start winning some more games.”