Mark DeRosa Rumors

Mark DeRosa To Retire

Veteran infielder Mark DeRosa is set to retire this offseason, Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos tells Shi Davidi of Sportsnet (via Twitter).  Toronto exercised their $750K option on the veteran late last month.  Toronto has confirmed the news via press release.

DeRosa, 39 in February, slashed .235/.326/.407 with seven homers in 236 plate appearances last season.  Over the course of his 16-year career, DeRosa owns a career .268/.340/.412 batting line with the Braves, Rangers, Cubs, Indians, Cardinals, Giants, Nationals, and Blue Jays.  DeRosa has earned more than $29MM over the course of his career, according to Baseball-Reference.

The Passaic, New Jersey native belted his last and 100th home run of his career off the Astros’ Dallas Keuchel on July 27th of this past season.  


Blue Jays Exercise Janssen, Lind, DeRosa Options

6:50pm: The Jays have exercised their options on Lind and DeRosa, while declining their option on Kawasaki, Sportsnet.ca's Shi Davidi writes. Lind hit .288/.357/.497 while splitting his time between first base and DH in 2013. DeRosa hit .235/.326/.407 while playing first, second, third and DH. Kawasaki provided a feel-good moment or two for the Jays in a season in which they had very few, but he split his time between Toronto and Triple-A Buffalo and only hit .229/.326/.308 in the Majors. Davidi notes that the Jays could re-sign him to a minor-league deal.

5:04pm: The Blue Jays have exercised their $4MM option on closer Casey Janssen, Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish tweets. Janssen pitched 52 2/3 innings in 2013, posting a 2.56 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9, so the decision was likely a relatively straightforward one. The option came as part of a two-year, $5.9MM deal signed prior to the 2012 season. Janssen made $3.9MM in 2013. He is eligible for free agency after the 2014 season.

The Jays have yet to announce decisions on options for first baseman / designated hitter Adam Lind ($7MM with a $2MM buyout), infielder Munenori Kawasaki ($1MM) and utilityman Mark DeRosa ($750K with a $25K buyout).


Blue Jays Likely To Keep Lind, DeRosa, Janssen

Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos told reporters that there's a "good chance" they'll exercise Adam Lind's option for 2014, according to Shi Davidi of Sportsnet (on Twitter).  Veteran Mark DeRosa is also in good position with his option and Casey Janssen is a lock to have his club option triggered.

It now looks like Lind will get $7MM to stay in Toronto next season rather than getting a $2MM buyout to ply his craft elsewhere.  The Jays also have options on Lind's services for 2015 ($7.5MM) and 2016 ($8MM). In 2013, Lind has hit .287/.356/.497, his best slash line since 2009. 

DeRosa's $750K option was expected to be triggered, but he could opt to retire rather than return.  The 38-year-old, who has a .229/.322/.398 slash line on the year, has earned nearly $30MM over the course of his career.  Meanwhile, Janssen's $4MM option is a slam dunk after turning in a 2.56 ERA with 8.5 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 in 56 relief appearances.

Anthopoulos also expressed confidence that the Blue Jays' rotation can turn things around with "a starter or two" added this offseason, Davidi tweets.



AL East Notes: Blue Jays, Yankees, Logan, DeRosa

Earlier tonight we rounded up the latest from the NL East and in the interest of equal time, we'll run down tonight's news from the AL East..

  • Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet runs down the Blue Jays' in-house and out-of-house rotation options for 2014.  BNS expects GM Alex Anthopoulos to go after high-end starters this winter and sees Matt Garza, Ricky Nolasco, Ervin Santana, Ubaldo Jimenez, and Tim Lincecum as potential targets.  Of course, they won't just be limited to the open market and they could even explore deals for Chicago's top young arms – Jeff Samardzija and Chris Sale.
  • Impending free agent Boone Logan makes no secret of his desire to stay with the Yankees beyond this season, writes Daniel Barbarisi of the Wall Street Journal.  "Why wouldn't you?" he said. "I look at it like this: When I started pitching good, I was with the Yankees. It's something I'm going to look a lot more into, and give it more thought, but I will say this: Why fix something that isn't broke? That's something I've got to talk to myself about. That time will come. But why wouldn't you want to play for the Yankees, if you can?"
  • Blue Jays veteran Mark DeRosa still isn't sure if he wants to return in 2014 or retire, writes MLB.com's Evan Peaslee.  Toronto will likely exercise his $750K option for next season, so the decision to come back to the Blue Jays rests in the 38-year-old's hands.

East Notes: DeRosa, Reynolds, Nationals

Here are a few links from around baseball's eastern divisions:

  • As expected, the Blue Jays pulled back Mark DeRosa after he was claimed on waivers yesterday, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com tweeted earlier today. The only team that put in a claim on DeRosa was under .500, making it unsurprising that the Jays ended up holding onto him. As Heyman explains, the club likes his veteran clubhouse presence and cheap 2014 club option ($750k). 
  • The Indians designated struggling slugger Mark Reynolds for assignment earlier today. His last employer, the Orioles, "do have interest" in bringing Reynolds back if he clears waivers, tweeted ESPN's Jim Bowden. MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli characterizes things somewhat differently, but concurs that the O's "would have some interest" in Reynolds. 
  • As recently extended GM Mike Rizzo looks to right the Nationals going into next season, perhaps his most important task will be to find a replacement for outgoing manager Davey Johnson. Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that Diamondbacks coach and longtime Giants third baseman Matt Williams (who Rizzo knows from his days in Arizona) could be among the candidates. According to Amanda Comak of the Washington Times, three other candidates with current or recent ties to the team could also be under consideration: current Astros manager Bo Porter and current Nats coaches Randy Knorr and Trent Jewett. 

Blue Jays’ Mark DeRosa Claimed Off Waivers

THURSDAY: Rosenthal tweeted late last night that the Blue Jays aren't planning to trade DeRosa, whom they hold a $750K option on for the 2014 season.

WEDNESDAY: Blue Jays veteran Mark DeRosa has been claimed off of waivers, sources tell Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports (on Twitter).  The claiming team is not yet known, however.  Toronto has until tomorrow to work out a trade, let him go, or pull him back off of waivers.

DeRosa, 38, is enjoying his best offensive season in years, hitting .231/.317/.448 with seven homers in 164 plate appearances.  The utility man could be of value to a contender and only makes about $230K for the rest of the season, the prorated portion of his modest $750K salary.  DeRosa is a CSE client, as shown in the MLBTR Agency Database.


Why I Chose My Agency: Mark DeRosa

Blue Jays utility man Mark DeRosa is renowned for his clubhouse presence.  He's played 500+ career innings at third base, second base, shorstop, right field, and left field, and has a pair of 20 home run seasons on his resume.  The longtime CSE client spoke with MLBTR this week about his relationship with agents Lonnie Cooper and Keith Grunewald.

On his first agency:

I actually was with the Hendricks brothers before I switched to CSE.  The reason for the switch, I don't know the whole ins and outs of it, but at some point in 2003 I think it was, SFX, I don't know if they bought out the Hendricks brothers or bought their company to become part of SFX, and for those two or three years I was still dealing with this new guy I had dealt with at the Hendricks brothers up until that point, and then the Hendricks brothers decided to leave and go back and be on their own again.  But the guys that I had dealt with coming up through the minors were going to stay at SFX.  So it kind of got to a situation of, who do I choose?  Do I stay with SFX and the guys I dealt with on a daily basis, or do I go back with Alan and Randy, which at the time when I signed with them, they were the reason I signed because of what they had done in the game and how they had represented people up until that point.  

So I had a window to sit down with my wife and decide, well, if we can't choose between either of them, this is an opportunity to at least interview with some other people.  I had talked to John Smoltz, who I trust and I really looked up to as a teammate, and he said, "Before you do anything, you need to sit down with Lonnie Cooper at CSE."  So I met with Lonnie and Keith and all the people up there and it was kind of a no-brainer for me, walking out of the office.  I turned to my wife and she felt comfortable too, and I ended up signing with them.    

On his decision to go with CSE:

I was at a crossroads in my career, I was getting ready to go into a season where I was going to arbitration eligible for the first time.  After I talked with Lonnie and Keith, them being right there in Atlanta where I was playing at the time, and I felt comfortable with them.  They weren't a huge agency at the time.  Lonnie represented a lot of NBA basketball coaches and he had John [Smoltz] and a few other big leaguers at the time.  I really felt like I could get the personal attention I needed and also it was nice for me to have my agent in my backyard where I lived.  

On Lonnie and Keith:

I'm a straight shooter, I'm an honest guy, I'm not a needy client.  I'm sure they'll tell you I'm the easiest client they probably ever had.  I just want an honest opinion, I wanted to know everything about what was being said to me during free agency, good, bad, and different, from every team, but at the same time totally trusting them to push me in the right direction. Going back to 2006, the Rangers actually came to me in about August and wanted to sign me to an extension, and I hadn't made so-called "big league money" up until that point, and was really humbled by the offer, and honored, and excited.  I called Lonnie and Keith and they steered me in the right direction.  They were like, "No, you've gone this far, might as well play out the last two months and see what's on the free agent market."  I ended up signing a three-year deal with the Cubs, so everything worked out.  

For me it was just about feeling good about who I was represented by.  I felt like they were a direct reflection of me, they have to be straight shooters, have to be honest, and have to surround themselves with good people.  I figured if Smoltzie was with them then I needed to sit down with them.

On the free agency process:

I wanted to know everything.  I wanted to know day-to-day stuff, which teams were calling, what they thought I could and couldn't do, what the monetary figures were.  I had an idea for who I was as a player and as a person.  That stuff never bothered me, I like to be honest.  I learned a lot of that from Bobby Cox.  A lot of managers say they have an open door policy, but Bobby lived it.  I could go in and talk to him about anything, and I didn't necessarily like everything he told me throughout my tenure with the Atlanta Braves, but I never walked got in my car that night wondering where I stood in the organization.  I wanted to be represented by people like that: tell me what they're saying, what they feel my strengths and weaknesses are, because that's going to play a big part in my decision.  

On his decision to sign with the Rangers:

[My agents] played a huge role in that decision with me signing with Texas.  Blowing out my knee at the end of '04 and getting non-tendered [by the Braves], here I am in the offseason rehabbing a torn ACL and everything that goes with that, and to have no job.  I was definitely nervous at the time.  I still felt I was going to come back and be a productive player, but what camp was I going to get into, how was I going to approach that.  Lonnie and Keith steered me in the direction of, "Where can you get with the best hitting coach?  Where can you find ABs but at the same time work on your craft and be a part of a team that has a chance to win?"  Me and Keith ended up flying down to Texas and meeting with Rudy [Jaramillo] and Buck Showalter, and I just felt like it was a good fit.  They had Mikey Young, and Soriano, and Blalock, and Teixeira.  They had their infield pretty well set, so I knew I wasn't going to get much playing time, but it offered me such an opportunity to just every day work with Rudy Jaramillo and completely overhaul my swing.  

On his reasons for jumping on the Cubs' offer quickly:

The fact that it was a guaranteed position.  I was a utility player in Texas, I had moved around, played right, second, third, short, the whole deal.  An opportunity to play in Wrigley Field for the Chicago Cubs I did not take lightly.  What an opportunity, what a historic place to play. That all factored in.  But I was going to play second base, barring injury.  I ended up moving around due to other guys being banged up, but I always had a home at second.  I felt that was huge for me.  And, to be honest with you, it was my first time hitting free agency, and I only had up until that point one full season of playing every day.  Didn't know how the market was going to play out, and wanted to kind of set it.

On his last couple of contracts with the Nationals and Blue Jays:

I have two young kids, I'm 38 years old.  I feel it's got to be worth my while to grind it out, to put the effort in that needs to be put in for 162 games.  Not only that, I'm fully cognizant of why teams bring me in.  Not only to be a sounding board for their younger players, but to be a clubhouse guy.  I still feel like I'm a viable option playing and can be productive playing.  I feel like the last couple deals, the one with Washington, the one with Toronto, Lonnie and Keith…they know me, they know what I'm about.  They gave me a chance to sign with a team that has a chance to win.  I'm all about helping the young guys, passing down knowledge, because I was never a can't-miss guy.  I picked the brains of all the great players I've played with and I've tried to incorporate their thought processes and what they do into my game, to keep me around as long as I can.  I love talking the game with the younger players, but at the same time, I wasn't just just going to hang around to help young players.  I want an opportunity to win a World Series.

On whether a small agency offers an advantage over the big ones:

To each his own, to be honest with you.  It works for me.  I like being able to call Lonnie and get him on the phone whenever I need him.  I like to be able to pick his brain, because not only is he a great agent, he's also a great businessman.  Not all of our talks revolve around baseball.  He cares about how my family is doing, he's completely involved in what I'm going to do after the game.  That stuff matters to me.  Is he willing to pick up the phone and sit with me for an hour whenever I need to talk to him.  And then there's Keith, who has become more than my agent, he's become my buddy.  We play golf in the offseason, just someone I can confide in, knows probably my darkest secrets.  He's become a great friend over the years.

Check out our other interviews in the Why I Chose My Agency series with Ted Lilly, Ryan Ludwick, Cody Ross, Aramis Ramirez, Adam Wainwright, Jeremy Affeldt, David Wright, Jay Bruce, Matt Holliday, Jamey Carroll and Jake Odorizzi.


Quick Hits: Hurdle, Friedman, Braves, Gardenhire

Josh Booty has won a non-roster invitation to the Diamondbacks' Spring Training camp by emerging as the victor on The Next Knuckler, an MLB Network reality show.  Booty, 37, was drafted fifth overall by the Marlins in the 1994 and accumulated just 30 Major League plate appearances with the Fish from 1996-98.  Booty played third base originally but is now trying to make it back as a knuckleball pitcher.

Here's the latest from around the majors…

  • Clint Hurdle is a favorite of Pirates owner Robert Nutting and has a better chance of staying with the team than GM Neal Huntington and president Frank Coonelly do if the Bucs struggle again, Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review writes.  Hurdle's contract was recently extended through the 2014 season.
  • "It has always been hard to sustain success as a small-market team and the new CBA does not impact that very much," Andrew Friedman tells Erik Hahmann of the DRaysBay blog.  "There are some interesting ideas within the new system but the overarching structure still tips the scales heavily in favor of the large markets (especially with growing revenue disparity).  The key to changing that will be moving to a system that doesn't penalize small-market clubs-in the draft order, in the competitive balance lottery, in the international arena–for being successful."  The Rays executive VP of baseball operations also addresses other league, management and roster topics during the interview.
  • The Braves spent much more to sign B.J. Upton than the Indians did to sign Michael Bourn, but Mark Bradley of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution feels the Braves' offseason was better served overall by moving on from their former center fielder.
  • The Twins are known for their loyalty towards managers but MLB.com's Marty Noble writes that Ron Gardenhire's future with the team could be in question if Minnesota struggles again.  The Twins are coming off back-to-back last place finishes in the AL Central, though these were only the second and third losing seasons of Gardenhire's 11-year tenure as skipper.
  • The Royals' pitching acquisitions have left Aaron Crow with no immediate future as a starting pitcher, Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star writes.  Crow was drafted (12th overall in 2009) as a starter but has pitched exclusively out of the bullpen in the majors and performed well.  Crow made the 2011 All-Star team and has posted a 3.13 ERA, a 9.2 K/9 rate and a 2.45 K/BB ratio over 126 2/3 relief innings in 2011-12.
  • Mark DeRosa and Henry Blanco may have limited on-field value at this stage of their careers but Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos tells Sportsnet.ca's Shi Davidi that good chemistry is a crucial part of a winning team and that the Jays will benefit from the two veterans' clubhouse leadership.   
  • Baseball America's Ben Badler recaps each team's significant international signings from 2012.

Cubs Notes: Garza, Ricketts, DeRosa

Cubs right-hander Matt Garza, ranked ninth on MLBTR's 2014 Free Agent Power Rankings and one of the prime trade targets last summer until he hurt his elbow, faced live hitters for the first time since his injury. Garza "looked good" (MLB.com's Carrie Muskat on Twitter) and "was throwing strong" (Paul Sullivan of the Chicago Tribune via Twitter) before cutting his session short walking off the field with a trainer while holding his left side. Manager Dale Sveum calls the injury a mild lat strain and says Garza will be fine, Sullivan tweets. Here's the other news coming out of Mesa today, as the Cubs held their first full-squad workout:

  • Owner Tom Ricketts told reporters, including ESPNChicago.com's Bruce Levine, he has been impressed by the job done by President Theo Epstein and GM Jed Hoyer. "I think the progress is tremendous," Ricketts said. "People can't see all the decisions that are made behind the scenes. I see these guys making hundreds of smart decisions during the course of the year. Some of them are public decisions, and a lot of them are smaller decisions made behind the scenes. I just have complete total confidence that they are moving us in the right direction.
  • Ricketts also addressed the reduction in payroll during his tenure, reports David Kaplan of CSNChicago.com. "The previous payroll model from the Tribune Company ownership was unsustainable in the current context which is why we are working to reach a deal on renovating the ballpark that will allow us to increase our revenue streams for the organization.
  • The Cubs contacted Mark DeRosa about replacing Bob Brenly in their broadcast booth, tweets the USA Today's Bob Nightengale. DeRosa, who played two seasons on the North Side (2007-2008), instead chose to sign with the Blue Jays last month while the Cubs hired Jim Deshaies as their new TV analyst. 

Blue Jays Sign Mark DeRosa

The Blue Jays announced that they signed infielder Mark DeRosa to a one-year, $750K contract for 2013. The deal with the CSE client includes a $750K club option for 2014.

Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos has said he'd like to add a versatile right-handed hitting player to round out the club's active roster. DeRosa, who turns 38 next month, bats from the right side and has experience at a variety of positions.

He played in 48 games for the Nationals last year, posting a .188/.300/.247 batting line in 101 plate appearances and playing every infield position plus both corner outfield positions. Most of DeRosa's MLB experience comes at third base, second base and right field. In 15 seasons at the MLB level he has a .270/.340/.412 batting line.