The problem, at least one of them, is simple math. There’s no place for DeJesus to play regularly. There aren’t many at-bats, either. Since July 1, Bernadina had all of 18 at-bats. That’s it.
The outfield is full. Jayson Werth is healthy. Bryce Harper, too. And Denard Span finally appears to be finding a rhythm at the plate. None of them is going to sit, other than an occasional day off. Plus, there’s Scott Hairston, brought over from the Cubs in a separate deal last month, to work into the mix.
The acquisition is another Jonny Gomes. He’s the affable outfielder with some punch in his bat the Nationals acquired from the Reds a few days before the July trade deadline in 2011 to bolster the bench. The Nationals were nine games removed from the wild card and, after 107 unremarkable plate appearances, Gomes departed as a free agent.
The real result of Monday’s deal? Fewer at-bats for youngster Tyler Moore, in his attempt to extricate himself from a season-long slump. And the $1.5 million buyout on DeJesus’ $6.5 million team option for 2014.
The upgrade, late as it is, is incremental. This won’t evaporate the Braves’ lead or rearrange the uneven numbers in the wild-card chase. Not this late. Not with this little opportunity to make an impact.
In a season filled with more questions than answers, though, perhaps the move fits right in.