On November 1st, the Toronto Blue Jays opted to pick up the team option on infielder Mark DeRosa. However, the only caveat was that the team was unsure if DeRosa would in fact return to play in 2014 or instead would choose to retire.
It appears DeRosa has officially made his decision.
According to a tweet from Shi Davidi, Blue Jays General Manager Alex Anthopoulos has indicated that the 38-year-old utility infielder has opted to end his playing career and will retire. He ends his 16-year career with a .268 batting average, a .751 OPS, 100 home runs, and 494 RBI. He spent time on the roster of eight different teams at the Major League level.
AA says Mark DeRosa is retiring
— Shi Davidi (@ShiDavidi) November 12, 2013
The Blue Jays signed DeRosa prior to the 2013 season, hoping that his reputation as a solid clubhouse guy would rub off on a team that was known to have some issues in that department. Specifically, the Blue Jays saw an opportunity for DeRosa to take third baseman Brett Lawrie under his wing and help him work through some of his maturity issues, according to Great Expectations: The Lost Toronto Blue Jays Season, a book by John Lott of the National Post and Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.
By retiring, DeRosa foregoes the $750K salary for 2014, clearing those funds for the Blue Jays to look for a utility infielder to replace him.