Baseball Toaster Cub Town
Seeing The World Through DeRosa Colored Glasses?
2006-11-14 14:11
by Derek Smart

In a move sure to elicit more bad puns through 2009 than any sentient being should have to endure, the Cubs have signed Mark DeRosa to a three-year deal worth $13M, and will use him as the team's every day second baseman.

More on this later, but my initial reaction is a combination of relief that Ronnie Cedeno will not be cracking the starting lineup on a regular basis, and "You're paying how much for what, now?"

Perhaps as the evening wears on I'll be more sanguine about the thing, but my in-the-moment-no-information-thought is that it appears Ryan Theriot just got screwed.

2006-11-14 14:41:10
1.   Ali Nagib
Ugh. If DeRosa actually managed to play as well as he did in 2006 for the next few years, this deal would be a big winner. But he's 31, and was essentially a utility guy before having ONE good season out of the nine he's been in the league (I suppose if you take his '01 and '02 bench-playing years, smash them together and squint, it would be 2 good years, but that's stretching things further than I'd like).

At least this should further hasten the Cubs long-term demise which might actually lead to a sale of the team, the only thing that can really make them better in the future.

2006-11-14 14:46:04
2.   sanchez101
According to BP, DeRosa has never played more than 27 adjusted games at 2nd in a single season. Last year he spend most of his time in the OF, with some time spent at 3B.

How do you give a three year commitment to a .273/.331/.404 hitter and play him at a position he's never really played at full-time? Perhaps a better question is why do the Cubs keep mistaking utility infielders for regular players?

All I can say is that between, DeRosa, Izturis and whatever flop is playing CF, life is going to be pretty easy for opposing pitchers against the Cubs.

2006-11-14 15:21:46
3.   chris in illinois
Where did anyone say that he was going to be the regular 2nd baseman??? All I've seen is idle speculation from and Hendry/Pinella haven't piped in as of yet.

This seems expensive for a guy who can merely bash lefties (career 306/.367/.497) and play 5 positions, but if he is destined for the bench, kudos for upgrading over last years lousy group.

If he gets 250 ab's this is probably a good signing, if he gets 500+.....ouch!!!

Of course if this expenditure keeps the Cubs from getting a bteer player down the road, shame on them....

2006-11-14 17:08:24
4.   jakewoods
anything like derosa is an improvement for the cubbies.
2006-11-14 17:48:02
5.   Yu-Hsing Chen
3 where else do you play him? CF ? SS?

obviously if he could play an adequet SS he wouldn't have been an bench player. (or an adequet 2B for that matter....)

I had a serious bad feeling that Mark Derosa would be one of the bigger chances to bust in this off season, and why am i not very surprised that the Cubs is the one taking the big chance?

This could be Neifi Perez gig 2.

2006-11-14 19:08:35
6.   rynox
"Where did anyone say that he was going to be the regular 2nd baseman??? All I've seen is idle speculation from and Hendry/Pinella haven't piped in as of yet."

Earlier this year De Rosa publicly stated that he wants a job as a regular starter and if Texas didn't give him the job he would go elsewhere to find it. I doubt he would sign the deal with the Cubs if he didn't think he would be starting.

2006-11-14 20:26:15
7.   Sandus
I like the deal. He's been an undervalued player for a long time because he was buried behind Michael Young and Alfonso Soriano (and before that Marcus Giles and Rafael Furcal) in the infield. I think he brings a lot to the table, particularly in the OBP department where the Cubs find themselves lacking.

He's an excellent defender with good range, and has the versatility to fill in at other positions when necessary (can you say "right field platoon"?) and do a serviceable job.

"But Sandus," you say. "Didn't Mark DeRosa spend last season in one of the best hitter's parks in the league?" Yes, he did, but his slugging percentage was actually HIGHER outside of Arlington.

The fact is, he's a player who hasn't had a lot of opportunity to play, who, after his first season full time, is peaking over the next couple years (which he'll spend in blue pinstripes). I think it's a good signing.

2006-11-15 02:53:56
8.   BobbyMac
1. Hendry announced shortly after the signing that DeRosa is the full-time 2b. He also made it clear that Theriot has an inside track to make the team, and Cedeno will have to fight for a spot on the team.

2. I agree that DeRosa is overpaid. That said, a) if the Cubs get 20 VORP from him, he'll be worth his $4MM, more-or-less, and b) at least he knows what a walk is, and c) he won't be a huge blockage in the unlikely event that Patterson gets back on the fast track (and he is having a nice AFL), and d) DeRosa probably would have made more money elsewhere if he'd waited, and unless he completely tanks, he'll maintain some trade value.

3. I can see Lou using Ryan Theriot as he used Richie Amaral in Seattle. If it means getting Jones on the bench against LHP, I will be ecstatic, even at $4M/yr. :>

2006-11-15 06:43:21
9.   Lefty

It's not a sale of the Cubs which is needed to turn this thing around. It's the firing of Hendry of which this signing should contribute.

2006-11-15 08:36:28
10.   Ali Nagib
9 - If you think that Hendry is the entire problem, and that ownership has nothing to do with it (let's see, who hired him, re-hired him, and continues to pay his salary...), you're kidding yourself. There's no doubt that the Cubs can get lucky and win under the Tribune Co., as it's happened before. But if they want a real, long term structural improvment, nothing short of an ownership change will do.
2006-11-15 09:01:05
11.   Lefty

The Tribune, who I do belive will not own the Cubs in a year, have been pretty good about staying out of baseball decisions. MacPhail hired Hendry and now he's gone. McDonough is a caretaker who has a past with Hendry. If the Tribune owned the team and Billy Beane was GM, do you think ownership would be a problem?

2006-11-15 10:53:22
12.   Ali Nagib
11 - That's the whole point: the Tribune Co. would never hire Billy Beane, and he would never work for them even if they asked. Ownership has two choices when it comes to making a team good in the long run -

1) Be involved with the decisions and take responsibility for the results.

2) Hire someone who's qualified to do so.

Ultimately, MacPhail wasn't paying Hendry's salaray, the Trib was, and if they gave MacPhail their support, then they are responsible for the decisions he made, including hiring/keeping Hendry. I'm not saying that Hendry and MacPhail are blameless; far from it, the fact that they have done an average at best job is the reason that they should be sent packing. But it's up to the ownership to make the decision of who's running the club, and they've clearly demonstrated that their goals are about short term profit maximization, not about putting out the best team they can while still making money in the long run.

PS. I really hope you're right about the Tribune selling the team in the next 12 months. I don't think it's very likely, as the team is still making money despite being awful, but that gravy train won't last forever, and I think it will take a lot more economic hardship for them to sell the team (unless they get smart and realize that having the team tank will decrease the value of the franchise and they should sell now while the selling is good).

2006-11-15 12:15:41
13.   Lefty
If it is true that the Trib has given Hendry a $115 million budget, how can they take any blame for Hendry's decision to commit $13 million over the next two years to Mark DeRosa and Henry Blanco? We will have to agree to disagree. By the way, what makes you think some new owner would give the GM a $115 million budget? Hendry is beyond clueless.
2006-11-15 13:21:29
14.   Ali Nagib
13 - They don't take any SPECIFIC blame for any of Hendry's bad choices; they take the general blame for hiring and retaining someone who would make such choices. If Hendry had been doing fabulously, and made a bad choice here or there, I certainly wouldn't put it on the Tribune Co. In fact, I wouldn't even necessarily put it on Hendry, as I don't expect him to be perfect. But he's far from perfect, and the results both on and off the field have shown that. And the Tribune Co. either knows this and doesn't care, or isn't competent enough to know this. Either way, the buck stops with the owners. And this is true of every team, not just the Cubs.
2006-11-15 14:08:57
15.   Lefty
So you agree that Hendry needs to be fired.
2006-11-15 14:27:48
16.   Ali Nagib
I'm pretty sure I never said that I didn't think he should be fired. If you read 10, I said he wasn't the whole problem. In 12 I said that he and MacPhail share in the blame. But it begs the important question, even if the Tribune Co. wised up and canned him, what would lead you believe that they would hire someone better as a replacement? The fact that he's been the GM for as long as he has suggests that they don't actually know what a good GM looks like, so unless they had an ephiphany, I wouldn't hold my breath.

I certainly think that GMs can get better at their jobs (see: Kenny Williams), but Hendry hasn't shown any signs of that, and should certainly be fired. If they go out and hire someone just as bad, though, it won't make the team any better in the long run...they'll just end up riding the same treadmill. Which is why, to succeed in the long run, they either need the owners to get smarter, or they need smarter owners. Feel free to sit and wait for the former, but in all likelihood, you won't see a championship flag on the North Side of Chicago until the latter happens.

2006-11-15 16:06:45
17.   ad7062
Uhm, Mr. Smart? I think you meant to write, "In a move meant to ELICIT" rather than "illicit," unless you're illin' on the bad puns that will be elicited, thus causing you to come up with the neologism "illicit," as in "Man, DeRosa's name be illicitin'."

Anyway, who cares whether the Tribune Co. has or has not overpaid for players. It's not like they're playing salary cap fantasy baseball, is it?

As for DeRosa: Eh. Not much to say, is there? If last year was a freak season for him, the Theriot is in the wings . . . not that he's much to get excited about, either.

What I'm waiting to hear from all of you is more about the Ramirez deal. If Aramis and Lou don't click, he is going to be an amazingly desirable player for some team to trade for, since he now has a long term contract in-hand.

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