The Washington Nationals have put the finishing touches on the August deal that sent outfielder David DeJesus to the Rays, acquiring Single-A left-hander Matthew Spann from Tampa Bay as their player to be named later, the team has announced.
Spann, 22, was a 25th-round pick by the Rays out of a Tennessee high school in 2010. The southpaw worked primarily as a starter in 2011 and 2012, but switched over to a relief role this year in his first go at Single-A.
Despite a low strikeout total, a high batting average on plays in play and a .284/.349/.453 line against him, Spann still managed to have quite a bit of success in the Midwest League this year. The left-hander posted a 2.87 earned-run average in 59⅔ innings of work, most of which came in two- or three-inning bursts.
The addition of a low-level guy like Spann to the Nats organization doesn't make their initial acquisition of DeJesus any less curious. When the club claimed the veteran outfielder on waivers from the Cubs, general manager Mike Rizzo said that DeJesus was "capable of being an everyday player" for the Nats, per the Washington Post, only to put him back on the waiver wire the following day.
DeJesus is batting .258/.343/.339 with five doubles and no long balls in 24 games for Tampa Bay since arriving last month, earning most of his playing time against right-handed pitchers.