2. Imagine Mark DeRosa as a big hunk of tuna, bait on a hook. One of the looming shadows circling below is that of the New York Yankees, who are weighing options and haven't decided whether to take a shot at the versatile veteran.
Joseph Pawlikowski over at River Avenue Blues has the following to say:
Make no mistake: DeRosa is a better option than any of the three current ones (Pena, Ransom, Berroa). He can also play the outfield in a pinch, and can do so reasonably well (11.5 UZR/150 in 451.2 innings in 2008). He can also play every position in the infield, and for the most part with competence.
Mark DeRosa would certainly be an upgrade offensively over Ramiro Pena for the Yankees--PECOTA expects him to OBP .349 compared to Pena's .302, along with double digit homeruns. But is it really so cut and dried, Joseph? While DeRosa can play just about every position on the diamond save catcher, UZR doesn't think too highly of his defense just about anywhere other than RF (+20.5/150 games). In reasonable sample sizes at 2B, SS and 3B he's been decidedly mediocre (-7.5, -8.4, -6.5 respectively) and in a tiny sampling at 1B he's been a butcher (-22.3).
Ramiro Pena, on the other hand, has not gotten enough of a major league sampling to truly use UZR to evaluate his performance. That said, he's been thrilling to watch in the field (not the best measurement of talent, but all we've got to go on in this case). I'll be interested to watch how his defensive metrics fluctuate, if he gets a chance to add to them.
I won't say definitively that DeRosa would not be an upgrade over Pena. I certainly won't agree with Joseph, though, in saying definitively that he will be. And the important point to make is probably this: some GM or other will probably be willing to offer more for DeRosa than he's worth to the Yankees relative to Ramiro Pena. There are prospects that need to be considered in this equation, and I wouldn't be willing to offer much up to bring back a 34 year old utility infielder who hasn't proven to be particularly proficient at playing the infield.
MLBTraderumours suggests that the Indians want ML ready pitching for DeRosa. Would you be willing to send Aceves or Kennedy for him? I wouldn't. They're welcome to Tomko if they want him.
And hasn't it been a breath of fresh air to watch the youngsters Pena and Cervelli come up and actually contribute to the team on a day to day basis?
UPDATE: Credit to "TheGameEpisode2" over at NYYfans.com for this, but it's very possible that DeRosa's wife puts him over the top.