July 22, 2014

Nationals close to deal with INF Mark DeRosa

According to multiple local and national sources, the Washington Nationals are just a physical exam away from signing veteran infielder Mark DeRosa to a Major League contract for the upcoming season.  DeRosa, 36, has spent the last two injury-plagued seasons with the San Francisco Giants.

DeRosa, over just 73 games in 2010-11, hit .235/.313/.279 with just six extra base hits with the Giants.  His latest wrist injury came in May and sidelined DeRosa until August, when he came back to hit .367 with .439 OBP in 29 games — but just 57 plate appearances.  He was mostly relegated to pinch-hit duty for the contending Giants.

DeRosa’s last good year came in 2009, split between Cleveland and St. Louis, when he hit .250/.319/.433 with 23 home runs and 78 RBIs, which earned him a two-year, $12 million contract with San Francisco.  But two wrist surgeries have completely robbed him of his extra-base power, as he had just one double after he returned from his latest surgery last August.

DeRosa is a career .272/.341/.416 hitter with 14 home runs per 162 games, and will most likely be used as a utility player and right-handed bat off the bench, most likely prohibiting the Nats from carrying Steve Lombardozzi on the roster in a similar capacity.

With the Nats claiming third baseman Carlos Rivero off waivers from the Phillies, if DeRosa passes his physical, they will have 38 player on the 40-man roster.

Rivero, 23, hit .260 with 16 homers, 71 RBI and a .326 on-base percentage in 136 combined games between Class AA Reading and Class AAA Lehigh Valley in 2010.  He should provide organizational depth at the third base position as prospect Anthony Rendon makes his way through the system.

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