Free agent infielder Mark DeRosa has come to terms with the San Francisco Giants on a two-year, $12 million contract, leaving behind the St. Louis Cardinals, who acquired him from Cleveland in June. While the Cardinals reportedly made the 34-year-old an offer earlier in the off-season, the terms were not reported and it is not clear how long that deal remained on the table.
DeRosa, acquired for former top draft pick relievers Jess Todd and Chris Perez, spent most his 68 regular-season games with the Cardinals hampered by a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist that required surgery after the season. He batted just .208 with the club, though he improved to .385 during the Cardinals’ first-round exit from the post-season. DeRosa added ten home runs in 237 regular season at-bats with St. Louis.
Having offered DeRosa arbitration, the Cardinals will receive a compensation draft pick in the June 2010 draft in the sandwich round between the first and second regular rounds as a result of DeRosa’s signing with San Francisco.
DeRosa becomes the third Cardinals free agent to sign with San Francisco in recent years, following Mike Matheny and Matt Morris. The former departed after the 2004 season with Morris following a year later. Both are now retired. Former Cardinals shortstop Edgar Renteria will begin his second season with the Giants in 2010 after having played for Boston, Atlanta and Detroit since leaving St. Louis following the 2004 season.
DeRosa was considered one of the Cardinals’ top alternatives had they been unable to sign free agent outfielder Matt Holliday. It is unclear what the Cardinals next steps will be. Possible offensive targets might include other Scott Boras clients Xavier Nady and Felipe Lopez.
Earlier in the winter, the club also mentioned the possibility of going more pitching-heavy if they are unable to sign Holliday. That might include the addition of another starter beyond recently-signed Brad Penny and a late-inning reliever to compliment closer Ryan Franklin. At age 36 in his first season in the role, Franklin’s late-season slump led team officials to suggest overwork as a possible contributing factor.
For additional commentary on the DeRosa-Holliday dynamics, check out ”Who just blinked: DeRosa or the Cardinals?” at TheCardinalNationblog.com.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog.
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