Indians GM, Mark Shapiro called newly acquired Mark DeRosa “a perfect fit” and I couldn’t agree more. It is not often you can acquire a player who can play 5 positions (1b 2b, 3b, lf, rf) and last year enjoyed a career year by hitting .285/21/87/.376 for 3 pitching prospects who don’t rank in your organizations top 20 according to Indiansprospectinsider.com
DeRosa gives Indians Manager Eric Wedge many options. DeRosa will most likely play 3b for the Indians but because he is so versatile he can play 2b which would allow Jhonny Peralta to move to 3b and Asdrubal Cabrera to move to SS. DeRosa hit .310 against left-handed pitching last year so he can also play right and spell Shin-Soo Choo against lefties.
More importantly than DeRosa’s statistics and his versatility, DeRosa is a winner. In his 11 year career he has been to the post-season 5 times and in those 5 post-season appearances he has a batting avg. of .350. DeRosa was also the only player to show up for the Cubs against the Dodgers in the NLDS
According to Cot’s Baseball Contracts, DeRosa has 1 year and about $5.5mil left on his contract which makes this even a better deal for the Indians. If DeRosa has another solid year like he did in 2008, he might qualify as a Type A free agent which would give them a 1st round pick in the 2010 draft.
This is one of those under the radar moves that doesn’t grab headlines but will prove to be a steal for the tribe.