Baseball is a tough business and players know that as the season is winding down they better start looking at their year’s performance and see if they need to make one final push to earn their next contract.
Mark DeRosa is a great example of a player in this situation. Currently playing for the Blue Jays on a 1 year $750,000 contract, he is well aware that if he wants to be an everyday player again, or even continue to be a utility player; he better put up decent numbers.
• Games 33
• AVG .231
• OBP .317
• HR 7
• RBI 29
Last season when Mark was playing for the Washington Nationals he had a lower batting average (.188), with ZERO Home runs and only 6 RBIs. While the American League is widely considered the tougher conference, and the AL East being the toughest of them all; it is clear that Mark has benefited from playing in the Roger Center.
I doubt at 38 years old DeRosa is expecting to get a full-time job in the field and I think he has found his niche as a clubhouse leader and utility player. The question is Do the Blue Jays look to sign him to another 1 year contract?
If the team is looking at his numbers alone they will have a difficult time deciding to keep DeRosa. It is not easy to explain the recent power except to say that playing in the dome is very hitter friendly. Going into next year his numbers are more much more likely to decrease then stay the same when he is 39 years old.
From a non numbers perspective, I feel like the team needs to move on from DeRosa as a player. There have been reports all season about his influence on the younger teammates but they will need more from him on the field. I believe this team needs a new mix of utility players who can gel and work together toward winning the Division/World Series. I believe the most ideal role for Mark in the future is a coaching position with the Blue Jays. By doing this the team can continue to focus on developing their young big league talent, while maintaining a roster spot for a younger, more productive utility player.
Update (Wednesday at 1130pm): Reports are that Mark Derosa has been claimed on waivers from an unknown team. This waiver process is very common late in the season and the Blue Jays have the ability to pull Mark back off waivers and will most likely do so on Thursday.
Update (Thursday 830am): According to multiple sources including the Tomahawk Take(see link below) the Atlanta Braves are the team that has put through a claim on Mark Derosa. If the Blue Jays do not pull Mark off waiver and the claim is awarded; the teams will have 48 hours to work out a deal.
Update (Thursday 950am) According to Ken Rosenthal at Fox Sports, the Blue Jays are unlikely to trade DeRosa, preferring instead to keep him and possibly exercise the option for 2014.
Update (Thursday 10:30am): Shi Davidi @ShiDavidi1mPer @Ken_Rosenthal, #BlueJays INF Mark DeRosa claimed off revocable waivers, won’t be dealt. With option for next yr makes sense to keep him