Phillies Favorites for DeRosa?

derosa.jpgFOXSports.com reported early this morning that the Phillies are the favorite to land Mark DeRosa, according to a Major-League source.

But the Phillies also are seriously interested in Placido Polanco and Adrian Beltre. Other potential candidates like Miguel Tejada could become possibilities, depending how the market develops.

DeRosa hit .250 with 23 home runs and 78 RBIs last season with the Cleveland Indians and St. Louis Cardinals. He hit .285 with 21 homers and 87 RBIs in 2008 with the Chicago Cubs. He had wrist surgery Oct. 26, but his representatives said Tuesday that DeRosa should resume baseball activities before Spring Training.

There are reasons why DeRosa would fit.

He is from the Northeast. He grew up in New Jersey and attended Penn. He has a reputation as a hard worker and good teammate, which the Phillies consider important attributes. He also is not expected to command a major salary, which is why Chone Figgins is not a realistic possibility for the Phillies. DeRosa made $5.5 million last season.

Of course, those same things can be said about Polanco. He played with the Phillies from 2002-05. He is a hard worker, good teammate and also is unlikely to command a major deal. He made $4.6 million last season. But one potential sticking point with Polanco is that he is a Type A free agent. If the Detroit Tigers offer him salary arbitration, the Phillies would forfeit their first-round pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft if they sign him.

The Phillies have liked DeRosa for some time. They talked with him and Wes Helms about joining the Phillies before the 2007 season, but ultimately signed Helms. They also tried to trade for DeRosa last winter. The deal ultimately fell through, and the Phillies signed Raul Ibanez to play left field.

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23 Comments

Both DeRosa and Polanco give the Phillies options to rest other players. DeRosa plays more positions so he would appear to be a better fit, as I don’t think Polanco ever plays the OF or SS. They still need another middle infielder for the bench, but they could rest Utley more and not lose as much pop.
If Detroit offers Polanco arby, I take him off my list anyway.

DeRosa made $5.5 million last year and the Phillies would have to have paid Feliz the same amount in 2010. What is the point? But, then again, I know nothing of DeRosa’s ability to spell either Rollins or Utley. Why is Adrian Beltre even in the discussion? He is coming off a 5 year, $65 million contract. There are pay cuts and there are pay cuts. I like Polanco and thought that his was under appreciated when he was last a Phillie but not at the price of a first round draft pick in this stage of his career. Bottom line, I believe Feliz will be back in the $2 to $3 million range and with a 2 year contract as an inducement or a team option and a buyout in second year.

I’d rather have DeRosa than Feliz because of his versatility. He won’t make much more, if at all, than the option contract the Phillies had with Feliz. I think at this point that Feliz is nothing more than a backup plan and that the Phillies will end up with DeRosa or Beltre. Figgins? I can dream. That fills two needs (3B and the leadoff spot).
I’m hearing John McDonald for the bench. Great defensive player. Hitter, not so much.

If De Rosa wants to play HERE, you sign him. The Philies have 2 openings and De Rosa will fit either one of them- either at 3rd base or as the Back-up infielder.Presumably, if signed, he’s be the 3rd baseman- based on the salary that you would pay him (probably some form of 2 year deal) and then the Phils go after a Marco Scutaro type as a reserve infielder.

DeRosa is a wash with Feliz (better offensively, worse defensively) and a bit of a risk given he’s coming off surgery. I hope they go after Beltre seriously, an upgrade in all respects and a huge one offensively.

Hey Todd. I see that ESPN rumor central picked up your story, but added an E to your last name. I guess you haven’t made it to the big time yet. Thanks for all the work you do here though!

Scutaro probably will be looking for a starting job somewhere, plus he’s a type A free agent. Like Polanco, they won’t want to give up a first round pick for him. But I’m guessing that the Blue Jays offer him arby and he takes it.

Jim Tracy, NL Manager of the Year. Very deserving, but Charlie didn’t deserve to finish 6th. Bobby Cox?

DeRosa will be 35 years old by opening day. I can understand a fill in role here and there but it seems that among playing third and spelling Rollins and spelling Utley we are pretty much talking about a full time player.

phan52….As I indicated earlier Beltre has made $65 million over the last five years and $13 million of it last year alone. He is going to take a $7.5 million pay cut to play for Phillies?

Well, Beltre signed that contract when the FA market was a lot more generous, for one thing. For another, not to denigrate Beltre, but it was an overpayment based on an aberrant incredible year he had with the Dodgers. Now, he’s coming off an injury-hampered season which depressed his production significantly and the market is a lot quieter. He is going to rebound and have a solid season, will be a lot cheaper than his previous contract, and will be a big value pickup for whoever gets him. For that reason, he’s still my first choice.
I wouldn’t mind DeRosa either. Last year was a down year for him and not the norm. His BABIP was .286, well below his career average of .315. When that regresses I’d expect him to put up a season closer to his 2008, where he hit .285/.376/.481. Not quite that good, probably, but still a massive upgrade over Feliz, and dream production in the lower part of the order. His career UZR per 150 games at 2B, SS, and 3B are -7.5, -8.4, and -6.5 respectively. So his defense isn’t great, but it’s far from the worst you could do. I’d be hesitant to slot him in at short but he’d be a fine everyday 3B, and could spell Utley. He is also excellent in the outfield, career 15.8 UZR/150. He would also be cheap and isn’t a bad choice, in my opinion.
Either of these are a big upgrade over Feliz.

pherris, Beltre may not want to take a huge paycut, but it won’t be his choice. The market for third basemen is saturated and, as phylan pointed out, he was vastly overpaid in his last contract. The free agent landscape has changed. The only people getting huge contracts anymore will be the highest profile players, and Beltre doesn’t fit the profile.
I don’t know who they will sign because, the way Amaro is talking, he may want to lowball 3B in order to spend more on the bullpen. I suspect that they might make a splash with a Soriano or Valverde, although they are type A. That’s probably why they are willing to settle for someone like Rodney.

World F-ing Champs

Did Gillick sign Beltran when he was GM of the Mariners? My brother moved to Seattle and is now an avid Mariners fan. He told me that Beltran is the best fielding 3rd baseman in MLB. He also thinks Beltran is a much better hitter than most people think. I have always suspected him of using steroids his last year in LA. If steroids cause damage to the body later on, that would explain his many trips to the DL as a Mariner. I don”t think he”ll play more than 100 games a season, so I don”t trust him.

Steroids actually lengthen a player’s career, but in any case there’s no reason to suspect he took them in 2004. He had an abnormally good year because his BABIP was much higher than his career norm, despite his line drive percentage being the same. His unintentional walk rate also rose, which wouldn’t really be the result of steroids.

Your friend is definitely correct in that he is the best fielding 3B, or at least top 3.

erichh: I assume you’re talking about Beltre, not Beltran. He came to Seattle in 2005. Gillick was GM from 2000 to 2003, so no he didn’t sign Beltre. Bill Bavasi was GM in 2005.
As for his fielding, he’ll make more errors than Feliz, but he’s won 4 Gold Glove awards, for what that’s worth, so maybe your brother is a voter?

He played 155 games every year from ’04 to ’06, 147 games in ’07. His games only started to drop in ’08 (139) and ’09 (111) where I suspect there were DL trips involved, but only the last 2 years. I don’t know where your steroid suspicions come in or why you’d expect him to play fewere than 100 games.
You know, you really CAN look this stuff up.

phylan and muleman, thanks for the responses. muleman, you’re right. I should have checked the stats before I posted. The problem is the piece of @#*% computer I use at work has been preventing me from posting comments or opening two windows at the same time. I got frustrated and posted anyway……..a dumb idea, admittedly.

This is why Beltre went on the DL for the second time last season, what a *******:

http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/32410363/ns/sports-baseball/

Thanks for the link Zach58. That was a painful article to read.

Todd, any chance that you can resurrect the old Q&A Forum? That was one of my favorite boards at philly.com

erichh: Funny how the numbers sometimes contradict what we think we see. I get on a jag about something, then look up the actual figures and have to change my opinion because the numbers don’t back me up.

The more I think about it (and the more I look at the numbers) the more I like Adrian Beltre. Being in the AL, I haven’t seen him much, but he looks like he’d be a great acquisition if his price is right. The $13 mil he made in ’09 is way out of whack. He’s younger than Feliz and has better fielding and hitting numbers. He’d have to come down a lot in salary I think, for the Phils to be interested. I read today that his agent is Scott Boras, so that won’t help matters either.

I can”t wait to see what Mr Amaro and the phillies do this off season.I hope they don’t forget to sign Cliff Lee to a long term contract that would make me happy in it self.anything else would be a plus.Love this team and starting to love the ownership,come on spring training.

cscd: The Phils just picked up Lee for 2010, so they aren’t going to sign any long-term deals this winter. That would happen during the season, I’d think.

They could extend Lee this winter if they wanted, but the wise thing to do would probably be to wait until mid-season 2010 and see how he performs coming off 231 IP + 16 in the playoffs in 2009, the most of his career. I think he’ll be fine, but it couldn’t hurt to see. He won’t be much more expensive then than he would be now.

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