Versatile Infielders Sign Contracts…

Mark DeRosa has had a nice career.  It’s taken a while to get going, moving slowly from a versatile sub to more of a “tenth man” to someone who could start and be productive in any of four or five different positions.  Still – Mark DeRosa has value in that you can plug him into the lineup to give people days off and not lose much as a hitter.  And, as time has moved forward, DeRosa has added more power to his game, which makes him even more valuable.

The San Francisco Giants could use a hitter and adding DeRosa is a nice fit here – as he would be on almost any team.  DeRosa has 20 homer power, has 70 RBI in each of the last four years, and will allow Kung Fu Panda to move to first base permanently.  I haven’t figured data for 2009 yet, but DeRosa had been a decent third baseman in 2007 and 2008, admittedly in part-time play, but if you add the last three seasons together you have nearly a full-time season and it’s more positive than negative.

If there is a fear in the Giants signing DeRosa to a two-year, $12 million deal it’s that he turns 35 when the pitchers and catchers start warming up.  He’s not going to look as good in San Francisco as he had in Wrigley Field or even the Jake by the Lake in Cleveland.  And, DeRosa is coming off a wrist injury.  So, there is a little risk in making the deal.  Just making a guess, I see DeRosa hitting 15 – 65 – .255, which is going to look disappointing to the Giants – and probably not as significant an upgrade at one of the corner infield positions as the Giants need.  [SI]

Nationals Sign Bruntlett, Whitesell to Minor League Deals…

One of the few people to turn an unassisted triple play, Eric Bruntlett signed a minor league deal with Washington.  Bruntlett doesn’t hit – granted, Bruntlett is more of a late inning defensive guy than a pinch hitter (he’s batted about .215 the last three seasons combined), but he’ll get a shot in spring training to make the team.  Another minor league contract went to former Diamondback Josh Whitesell.  The Nationals get someone who has some power and patience, though Whitesell appeared to take a step back in 2009.  Whitesell had hit .328 with power and walks at Tuscon in 2008, but fell to .293 at Reno last year before getting the call to Arizona last summer.  In just 108 at bats, he hit .194 with a single homer.

My heart isn’t totally in it, but you can envision Whitesell batting anywhere from .240 to .270 with 15 – 18 homers if given a shot, but that isn’t a step up from Nick Johnson last year and isn’t going to keep Adam Dunn in the outfield.  However, he is an inexpensive and potentially passable backup to Dunn and will likely be the defensive substitute and occasional pinch hitter.

Happy Birthday!

On the birthday list, Frank Delahanty (1882), Lou Fiene (1884), Hank DeBerry (1894), Clyde Barnhart (1895), Ken Rudolph (1946), Craig Grebeck (1964), Richie Sexton and Emil Brown (1974), Jaret Wright (1975), and Jack Wilson (1977).

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Filed under Adam Dunn, Arizona Diamondbacks, Eric Bruntlett, Josh Whitesell, Mark DeRosa, Nick Johnson, Philadelphia Phillies, San Francisco Giants, St. Louis Cardinals, Washington Nationals

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