On Tuesday, the Blue Jays inked the soon to be 38 year old journeyman, Mark DeRosa to a deal valued at $750 thousand dollars with a club option for 2014 at an additional $750K. In order to make room for DeRosa on the 40 man Roster, right handed Pitcher Sam Dyson was designated for assignment prior to the announcement.
DeRosa, a veteran of over 1100 MLB games, brings with him a career slash line of .270/.340/.412 over parts of 15 years in the Show and has proved to be a valuable utility player having split time at virtually every position on the diamond excluding Catcher, Pitcher and Center Field.
DeRosa provides Toronto with an interesting platoon situation while also giving the team additional depth around the infield. Although his playing time has been cut to a mere 302 Plate Appearances over the past 3 seasons, DeRosa has managed to post a respectable .368 On Base Percentage while only striking out 21 times in 115 PA’s vs left handed pitching. Compare these numbers to Adam Lind’s .212 OBP with 105 Strikeouts over 390 Plate Appearances during the same time frame…
Sure, DeRosa’s totals can be chalked up to a sample sized showing, but at the risk of losing only $750K, DeRosa is worth taking a chance on if Lind struggles with lefties in 2013.
One obvious flaw in this thinking is the fact that the team would be sacrificing power for On Base Percentage. It has been well noted that over the past 3 seasons, DeRosa has hit only 1 Home Run but perhaps with heavier right handed protection in the Blue Jays 2013 lineup, the team can afford to sacrifice this attribute.
* DeRosa’s Home Run came off Houston Pitcher Tim Byrdak… A Southpaw.
Another quality that DeRosa brings to this team is experience… But not just 15 years of MLB games under his belt, DeRosa also comes with a considerable amount of Playoff experience.
Mark DeRosa has appeared in the playoffs with St Louis, Chicago (Cubs) and Atlanta. As of 2012, DeRosa has appeared in 22 postseason tilts and features an impressive .358/.414/.566 line over those games. Despite his 6 Postseason runs, the 38 year old has yet to reach a Fall Classic.
Only Darren Oliver comes into 2013 with more experience having played in an even 30 Playoff games and of the Blue Jays 40 players that hold spots on the current Roster, only 9 of them (including DeRosa) have appeared in the the playoffs. In fact, at the beginning of this off season, the Blue Jays held only 3 players who had reached the playoffs in the past. Quite the turn around.
Cornerstone players such as Jose Bautista, Edwin Encarnacion and even R.A. Dickey have never seen (MLB) Postseason play during their respective careers, in turn, this only adds to DeRosa’s value as a teammate and player for this organization.
If one was to put a price on Mark DeRosa’s versatility, ability to hit left handed pitching and overall club house presence, $750K doesn’t really sound all that bad, does it. Certainly worth taking a risk if this team is planning on contending come September.