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— A Timely Look at Transactions as They Happen

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Cardinals - Acquired DeRosa

St. Louis Cardinals - Acquired UT Mark DeRosa from the Cleveland Indians for P Chris Perez and a PTBNL.

Soto injured?  Ramirez injured and out?  Harden actually being bad rather than injured?  Ask a certain subset of Cubs fans and you won’t hear any of these reasons given as to why the Cubs are 35-36.  Instead, you’ll hear stories about the loss of scrappy Mark DeRosa, who, along with Ryan Theriot, led the Cubs to the playoffs in 2008.  That DeRosa goes to the Cardinals has to rub the salt in the wounds a little.

While he didn’t quite do that, DeRosa’s bat and ability to fake 2B provides a great bit of depth for the Cardinals down the stretch.  While the Cards aren’t truly desperate at any of the positions DeRosa plays, the organization isn’t really prepared to deal with injuries, either.  DeRosa will play somewhere nearly every day.

Perez is a useful reliever, something the Indians desperately need, but he’s by no means irreplaceable, a league-average fastball/slider guy with occasional command issues.  No idea who the PTBNL is at this point.


2009 ZIPS Projection - Mark DeRosa
——————————————————————————————————————
          AB   R   H 2B 3B HR RBI   BB   SO SB   BA OBP SLG
——————————————————————————————————————
Year-to-Date   278   47   75 13   0 13   50   29   63   1 .270 .342 .457
Rest-of-Year   264   47   74 14   1   9   41   28   53   1 .278 .352 .440
——————————————————————————————————————
Total       542   94 149 27   1 22   91   57 116   2 .274 .347 .449

Year-to-date totals include minor-league translations, if applicable.

 


2009 ZIPS Projection - Chris Perez
——————————————————————————————————————
            W   L   G GS   IP   H   ER   HR   BB   SO   ERA
——————————————————————————————————————
Year-to-Date   1   1   29   0   23.7   17   11   3   15   30 4.18
Rest-of-Year   1   2   33   0   29.7   26   16   4   21   35 4.85
——————————————————————————————————————
Total         2   3   62   0   53.3   43   27   7   36   65 4.56

Year-to-date totals include minor-league translations, if applicable.

 

Dan Szymborski Posted: June 28, 2009 at 05:33 PM | 26 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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Reader Comments and Retorts

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   1. 8ball Posted: June 28, 2009 at 06:37 PM (#3235835)
Don't you mean from the Cleveland Indians?
   2. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 28, 2009 at 06:40 PM (#3235840)
Oops, wrote the top line with Cubs on the brain!
   3. ColonelTom Posted: June 28, 2009 at 07:37 PM (#3235889)
DeRosa's not a world-beater, but he's a huge upgrade at 3B over what the Cardinals had (Thurston, Barden, Khalil & Tyler Greene). Cleveland wasn't going to get a ton for DeRosa as a four-month rental, so Perez and a second prospect (rumored to be from a list including Jess Todd) isn't a bad return for a team in need of relief pitching. Nice deal for both teams.
   4. Guts Posted: June 28, 2009 at 08:01 PM (#3235911)
DeRosa is a league averageish hitter, which the Cards have been a little short on this season, and he can play all over the place, so Tony stays happy. Perez has the potential to be a dominant reliever, but he hasn't been improving and I'm ok with shipping him in order to pick up a guy that will be really helpful this year.

If the PTBNL is any good, though, this trade sucks.
   5. cardsfanboy Posted: June 28, 2009 at 08:05 PM (#3235916)
If the PTBNL is any good, though, this trade sucks.
post 3 says Todd is in the mix, which is something that I think would suck, basically Todd is ready right now to take over the spot Perez was filling, and maybe do a better job currently.
   6. Walt Davis Posted: June 28, 2009 at 08:25 PM (#3235935)
"fake" 2B? Even ZiPS had him as average at 2B, very good at 3B and average in a corner. That's not even close to "faking" it.

Is DeRosa's absence THE reason the Cubs are struggling? No, there are others too. But at least 250 of the 450 PA that have so far gone to Miles/Blanco/Fontenot at a collective OPS+ of about 55 would have gone to DeRosa. Heck, throw some Bradley in there if you want. Isn't that something on the order of 2 wins right there?

I'm with HW. DeRosa, when he can be optimally used, is one of the more valuable players in the game. He is, according to ZiPS, an average or better player at 3 positions. The "average player" at DeRosa's best position (super-utility guy) is pretty much a replacement-level player -- something along the lines of a Miles, Bloomquist, Brendan Ryan type plus half a 4th OF. When you can replace that level of production with a solid 105-110 OPS+ and average or better defense, you've made huge gains. A player like that also allows you to platoon at a couple positions, increasing your production (and usually lowering your payroll). And with 12-man pitching staffs, almost every team needs a DeRosa type of player.

Now, on the Indians and (it appears) on the Cards, DeRosa will not be used in his optimal way but rather as starting 3B -- which means he's just a slightly above-average player. The Cubs wish they had a few more of those too.

As to the Cubs -- Ramirez's injury is the big blow. The other big issues are Bradley and Soriano and the bullpen. Harden doesn't concern me too much -- it's all the HR rate (and some walks). Even so, Cubs' starters have a 3.83 ERA with excellent peripherals, that's hardly an area of concern. And what Soto injury? He missed a few games in April with a shoulder issue (and the Cubs were blessed with one of the better stretches of Koyie Hill's career).
   7. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 28, 2009 at 10:13 PM (#3235984)
Baseball must have gotten easier if a guy who can be an above hitter at five positions is regarded as "ho hum"
   8. Justin T., Director of Somethin Posted: June 28, 2009 at 10:32 PM (#3235989)
I, too, am bewildered by the lukewarm reaction to this trade on the Cards end. Granted that he can only play one position at a time, but he's been an above average hitter for five years, yet people seem to be expecting him to lose the hot hand at any moment. And for the Cardinals he isn't a modest upgrade over an average player, he's a huge upgrade over whoever he supplants on any given day.

The PTBNL may bite them someday, we don't know. But this is a wildly awesome trade for this year's Cardinals.
   9. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 29, 2009 at 12:18 AM (#3236036)
"fake" 2B? Even ZiPS had him as average at 2B, very good at 3B and average in a corner. That's not even close to "faking" it.

He hasn't been playing 2B, though - poring through ZR data for the last 25 years, defensive play can drop like a rock when a player "misses" a lot of time at a harder position.
   10. CFiJ Posted: June 29, 2009 at 12:22 AM (#3236046)
So ends the all-too-brief love affair between Cubs fans and Mark DeRosa.
   11. Guts Posted: June 29, 2009 at 12:50 AM (#3236079)
Hey, I said he would be really helpful this year. Hopefully TLR figures out he should be hitting 2d in a hurry.
   12. greenback calls it soccer Posted: June 29, 2009 at 01:16 AM (#3236111)
I'm thrilled with the trade. I missed Snell's 13-consecutive-strikeout performance today so I could see DeRosa on TV. The Cardinals were in fact desperate for an above-average RH bat, preferably one who could play somewhere on the infield. That this will only cost a couple of reliever prospects, one of whom is wildly overrated because of what he does (or perhaps did) on radar guns, only makes it sweeter. Luhnow produces reliever prospects at will.
   13. JoeHova Posted: June 29, 2009 at 01:33 AM (#3236125)
I can't help still thinking of DeRosa as a scrub because of his early years with Atlanta. Rationally, I know that he has been good for the last 5 years. I just can't get 2004 out of my head though. I watched a lot of Braves games that year and the year before and DeRosa was just unbelievably awful. I can't wrap my head around the fact that he's good now and the Cards may have tilted a pennant race in their favor with his acquisition. It's not like he was 20 years old when he was busy being terrible in Atlanta, he was 29 in 2004 when he put up a 59 OPS+. I would never have believed he would hit 20+ home runs in the majors in 2008.

On the other hand, his career path gives me a tiny bit of hope for Bill Hall.
   14. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: June 29, 2009 at 01:44 AM (#3236143)
DeRosa seems to be a favorite not only with the stats crowd, but with the old school baseball guys. Both are calling him "underrated" so much that he has become overrated.
   15. AROM Posted: June 29, 2009 at 02:29 AM (#3236179)
He's not the only reason the Cubs have declined, but he's a big one. Having DeRosa would have made the injury to Ramirez easier to take. And now he's going to their division rival. Probably a 5-7 win swing in the standings between the two clubs (4 for the Cubs not having him all year, 2 for the Cards getting him to season's end, with an error bar). Cubs blew it on this one and their fans are right to complain.
   16. base ball chick Posted: June 29, 2009 at 02:58 AM (#3236223)
harveys is dead right

dero is not pujols, but the dude hits better than most MI regulars and he can play just about anywhere except pitcher and catcher

and in case anyone want proof that the astros are the stupidest team in baseball it is that we kept jason michaels/matt kata/darin erstad and didn't go and get derosa instead of any one of those less then replacement guys
   17. Walt Davis Posted: June 29, 2009 at 09:02 AM (#3236403)
I can't help still thinking of DeRosa as a scrub because of his early years with Atlanta.

Hey, I ragged on the Cubs for signing him to that "ridiculous" contract. Probably wasn't until about halfway through last season before I accepted he's better than I gave him credit for.

He hasn't been playing 2B, though - poring through ZR data for the last 25 years, defensive play can drop like a rock when a player "misses" a lot of time at a harder position.

Well now, you coulda said that to start. I certainly buy that though I'm not sure missing 30-40 games (how many he'd probably typically get at 2B by this point in the season) would have that dramatic effect. Do you see the same effect after an injury?

I'd also be interested in seeing which positions. For example, a move from SS to 3B, even if the guy could still handle SS at the time of the move, is probably followed by some bulking up. Give DeRosa a couple years at 3B almost exclusively and I'd easily believe he no longer had the range for 2B/RF.

Seems there'd be a lot ou'd have to control for in that data. I assume that in those few cases where someone moves to a harder position (say from 2B to SS), they wouldn't lose anything. The ones moving to easier positions would mostly have been in decline for a while and maybe a lot of the ones that weren't are examples of the expert eyes being better than the numbers. Then there are all the injuries.

Do you see that guys who move from LF/RF to CF lose anything when they go back to LF (I would guess not)?
   18. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 29, 2009 at 11:56 AM (#3236419)
Post 14:

Doubtful. The only folks even talking about DeRosa are here.

I have stated my piece on DeRosa. Now having written those kind words he will now suffer a 4-39 streak, commit 8 errors, and work mightily to make me look incredibly foolish...........................
   19. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: June 29, 2009 at 12:12 PM (#3236424)
By the way, Mark made the move to the tougher league seamlessly. I think that is just one more reason to believe that yes, he can really play.
   20. zonk Posted: June 29, 2009 at 12:38 PM (#3236439)

Hey, I ragged on the Cubs for signing him to that "ridiculous" contract. Probably wasn't until about halfway through last season before I accepted he's better than I gave him credit for.


I was in that same boat.

I think the BTF Cubs fan love for DeRosa isn't that we think he was the team MVP last year, just that we all saw the bench shaping up as F Troop reborn -- and also saw that DeRosa can play quite well at the 2 positions we'd be most likely to see injuries (RF/3B), and the other that was a question mark (2B). This year's edition of the Cubs was the perfect team for a player of DeRosa's skills...

...and like most people, when events have proven us right - we tend to make sure everyone knows we said so back when.
   21. Ben Posted: June 30, 2009 at 11:01 AM (#3237527)
Jim Hendry looks pretty dumb for getting less for a whole season of DeRosa than Shapiro got for half a season.
   22. Dan Szymborski Posted: June 30, 2009 at 11:18 AM (#3237528)
Do you see that guys who move from LF/RF to CF lose anything when they go back to LF (I would guess not)?

I was only looking at the moves to easier positions and back, unfortunately.
   23. EnderCN Posted: July 04, 2009 at 05:02 PM (#3242090)
DeRosa is a below average defensive IF which offsets some of the offensive value. He is a nice player but we are talking the 2 WAR range. Given how tight that division is 2 wins can be a big difference maker though.
   24. cardsfanboy Posted: July 04, 2009 at 05:12 PM (#3242095)
DeRosa is a below average defensive IF which offsets some of the offensive value. He is a nice player but we are talking the 2 WAR range. Given how tight that division is 2 wins can be a big difference maker though.

if he was replacing a replacement level player, but he isn't that is the reason why people are lukewarm to this we go from a young maybe promising player like Tyler Greene, Barden or even Thurston (basically 80ops+ type of hitters, with Greene and Barden as plus defenders) to DeRosa(105 ops+). When it's broken down I think that DeRosa probably adds a little more than one win over the players he replaces for the remainder of the season, I like the addition because an improvement is always welcome, but at the same time I feel it's not enough for the potential cost.
   25. Tom Nawrocki Posted: July 04, 2009 at 05:36 PM (#3242114)
I wonder if the Cubs are looking at Jeff Baker as the new Mark DeRosa. He can handle second, third or the outfield, and while he hasn't hit quite as well as DeRosa, he has 618 career ABs and has hit .256 with 22 homers.
   26. Van Lingle Mungo Jerry Posted: July 29, 2009 at 06:50 PM (#3272660)
From ESPN, the PTBNL is Jess Todd:

It might take a while before we know for sure, but the Indians got two very strong right-handed arms in the Mark DeRosa trade. Chris Perez was the original name, and the player to be named finally was, and it's Jess Todd, who had 24 saves and a 2.20 ERA for Triple-A Memphis. Kerry Wood remains the closer, but Todd and Perez are future closers.

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