Mark DeRosa Is Gone, and the Cardinals Are Better Because of It

Aaron HooksCorrespondent IDecember 29, 2009

Mark DeRosa does one thing extremely well: marry.

Perhaps he does other things well. It could be he’s an amazing pastry chef. Or he has a special knack for sanding pinewood derby cars. I don’t know.

But what I do know is that A) he’s got a unbelievably hot wife and B) he’s a mid-level free agent best.

Word leaked this week that Mr. DeRosa was in agreement with the San Francisco Giants on a two-year deal that would take away another piece of the 2009 NL Central Division champs' offense.

While some Cardinal fans are acting as if this is a mini-Armageddon, I would like to ease their worried minds. It’s not.

It’s not even a big deal. In fact, it’s probably good for the team.

Here’s why.

DeRosa’s value comes from his ability to play several positions capably. If he were, say, an exceedingly good third baseman, he’d be playing third base every day. But he’s not. He’s above average, so he plays where guys need rest or where the manager needs an above average player.

It’s a nice luxury to have—I’ll grant you—but when it comes to building a championship team, Mark DeRosa isn’t a vital cog to that machination. Kind of like a butt warmer isn’t essential to your car—but it does come in handy a few times over the winter.

But the bat! What about his Bat?

Now DeRosa did have a breakout first half of 2009. Unfortunately it was with Cleveland. Soon after being traded over to the Cardinals, he hurt his wrist and promptly hit .228 for the remainder of the season. His power numbers also slumped, as he hit only 10 HRs with 28 RBI for the Birds.

Honestly, that’s worth six to seven million dollars per year?

Yes, he will play better after having time to heal his body. But the point remains valid—at what level do you pay a 35-year-old journeyman to be an average fielder and a serviceable bat on a team that needs more than one serviceable bat and average fielder?

The FA wire and minor league baseball are abundant with these types of players, and the Cardinals will end up signing two to three of these guys before Spring Training.

Some will stick, others won’t. But their signings won’t hamper the payroll for the next two years.

I get it.

Scott Boras is costing the Cardinals opportunities at players since he won’t let Matt Holliday sign anywhere until Jason Bay does. This is true. But that doesn’t mean that losing Mark DeRosa is actually a loss.

Unless you are a big fan of watching the wives section in Busch Stadium. Then you’re pretty much devastated today.

And I feel your pain.