Baseball Side of FanSided (1/2) with Mark DeRosa Thoughts

It’s time to take my weekly stroll around the MLB blogs of FanSided with some “bonus” thoughts on Mark DeRosa.  I’ve also decided to change the formatting a little bit, because I wasn’t happy with the appearance of the previously published versions.

Birds Watcher recently launched a new series titled Covering the Bases.  Matt Wieters is the subject of the first edition.

Blog Red Machine provided some news on Edinson Volquez and prospect Todd Frazier.

BoSox Injection started running down the members of the Red Sox All-Decade Team.  His first post focuses on the corner infielders.  Mike Sweeney in his prime was better than Kevin Youkilis, but the Royals haven’t had anyone at 3B on par with Mike Lowell.

Cubbies Crib has Jordan Campbell as its new lead writer.  He comes to FanSided from Cubs Corner.  His first post features the recent addition of Marlon Byrd.

Frisco Fastball reports on Mark DeRosa as well as Juan Uribe and Kiko Calero.  DeRosa was the topic of a quick text message back and forth that I had with one of my friends the other day.  To preserve his anonymity I’ll call him Lam.

Lam:   DeRosa signs for 6 mil a year for 2 years … and why weren’t the Royals on that?

Me:  Where would he play?  He can play LF, 2B, 3B, and 1B.  The Royals are “set” at all 4 of those spots with cheaper options.

Lam:  Just saying.  We want a guy that gets on base and has a little power, yet we refuse to go after them and settle for people like Betancourt.

Me:  True, but the Royals can’t afford to invest $12 million on a guy who doesn’t fit a hole, gets hurt, and has no long term future with the team.

Lam:  I don’t know that I’d want him either as he does get hurt a lot.  I wouldn’t fault a GM for signing him though.

After texting about it, I looked up DeRosa (who will be 35 years old on opening day) on Baseball Reference and FanGraphs to get a more complete statistical picture of him.  After all, I tend to be biased against DeRosa and find him to be generally overvalued.  I was surprised by several things right off the bat.  First, over the last five seasons, Derosa has been worth 2.68 WAR.  Second, while he has spent most of his time playing 2B and 3B as I thought, he actually has played more games in RF (160) than in LF (59) during his 12 seasons in the majors.  Along those lines I was also surprised to see that he had played 139 games at SS and only 23 games at 1B.  I took a look at his UZR/150 and was not shocked to see that he was below average at every position except RF.  This tends to be true of most players that regularly play multiple positions, but with a career 21.6 UZR/150 in RF, it would appear my initial assessment of him was off.

DeRosa would have been a good fit for the Royals and would have addressed an offensive and defensive need for the Royals in RF.  He’s a career 0.275/.343/.424 hitter with a career OPS+ of 97.  That happens to be the same career OPS+ of the recently traded 28-year old Mark Teahen who sports a similar slash line 0.269/.331/.419 to that of DeRosa.  Considering where each player is in their career paths, it seems reasonable to assume that both Marks will finish their careers with very similar stat lines.  There is no doubt in my mind that Teahen’s SLG and HR production is going to jump by playing all of his home games at the Cell in Chicago.

As much as I have loved and still do love Mark Teahen, it would be very hypocritical for me to not appreciate Mark DeRosa more than I have.  He’s a very useful player who can have a very positive impact on any ML team whether they are competitive like San Francisco or substandard like the Kansas City Royals.  It wouldn’t have made sense for KC to be in on him, considering they just traded the younger and cheaper version of DeRosa.  Still, it merits considering that for the price the Royals are paying Jose Guillen to hopefully ride the pine in 2010, they could have had either Teahen or DeRosa man RF for multiple seasons.  On top of it all, they would have been a better team because of it.

I’m not bringing this up to rehash the trade of Mark Teahen for Chris Getz and a Triple-A spare part.  Don’t get me wrong here.  I think trading Teahen was Dayton’s best move* of the offseason.  I’m also not advocating that the Royals should have signed DeRosa for $12 million over two years.  I just find it interesting that while everyone has spent most of the last two seasons loving up Mark DeRosa, our own Mark Teahen has been largely ignored and undervalued despite being a very similar player.

*I realize that isn’t exactly a ringing endorsement and while I am excited about the team landing Noel Arguelles we won’t know how significant that signing will be for many years.

Lasorda’s Lair wonders if the Dodgers are interested in Joel Pineiro.  I don’t know how valuable Joel is going to be for any team that signs him this offseason.  He’s been very up and down in terms of effectiveness during his 10-year career, and leaving the tutelage of pitching guru Dave Duncan is not going to make him any better.  His career ERA+ is 98 which means he’s basically a league average starter.  In my opinion, the Dodgers would have been better off resigning Randy Wolf who sports a career ERA+ of 103 in 11 seasons and has a much more consistent track record.

Marlin Maniac published the Marlins All-Decade Team.  Part 1 covers the position players, and part 2 covers the pitchers.  Florida can boast a starting staff of Willis, Burnett, Johnson, Beckett, and Penny.  By contrast, the Royals have a rotation of Zack Greinke and a bunch of 1-year overachievements.  Hopefully the current crop of young arms can continue their march toward Kansas City in 2010.  Otherwise the next decade (the tens?) may be just as disappointing as the aughts.

Motor City Bengals runs down the Tigers top-10 moments on the field during the 2000s.

Rayhawk Review presents the Rays All-Decade Team.  Our old friend J.P. Howell made the team.  Allard was blasted by many for selecting Howell 31st overall in the 2004 draft.  He was also criticized for selecting Billy Butler 14th overall instead of Stephen Drew and others.  Despite many other mistakes made during his time as GM, it’s hard to argue the merits of either selection heading into the 2010 season.

Reviewing the Brew proclaims 2010 the year of the Brewers.  Hope does more than spring eternal.  It winters too.

Rising Apple celebrates the signing of Jason Bay not because it was the greatest move in the world, but because they did something.  My inner Royals fan can relate to that feeling.

Rum Bunter invokes the name of Bill Mazeroski.  Along those lines, does Frank White have a golf tournament?

Sodo Mojo adds a few more thoughts on the team’s trade of Brandon Morrow.

Teddy Never Wins thinks 2010 is the year for the Nats.  The year they reach 0.500 … maybe.

That Balls Outta Here had a visit from a unicorn barfing rainbows on Tuesday.  Today said unicorn was replaced by Danys Baez.  If I was a Phillies fan, I think I’d take the unicorn.

Tomahawk Take wonders if Frank Wren gets too much credit.

Twinkie Talk revealed that Max Kepler is #13 in the top 15 prospects series.

Venom Strikes thinks D-Backs fans should take a page from Colts fans and demand a refund.  Better yet, he gives the reasons why.

Yanks Go Yard ranks the 10 Yankees teams of the 2000s.

(Wally Fish is the lead blogger for Kings of Kauffman and FanSided’s MLB Director.  Subscribe to his RSS feed and add him on Twitter to follow him daily.)

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Tags: A.J. Burnett Baseball Bill Mazeroski Billy Butler Brad Penny Brandon Morrow Danys Baez Dontrelle Willis Edinson Volquez Frank Wren J.P. Howell Jason Bay Joel Pineiro Josh Beckett Josh Johnson Juan Uribe Kevin Youkilis Kiko Calero Mark DeRosa Mark Teahen Marlon Byrd Matt Wieters Max Kepler Mike Lowell MLB Randy Wolf Todd Frazier