The Blue Jays have signed Mark DeRosa to a one-year contract worth $750,000 with a club option for 2014 at the same amount. DeRosa, 37, is expected to take the 25th spot on the Jays MLB roster. He bats right and has the ability to play all 1B, 2B, SS, 3B, LF or RF.
DeRosa played in 48 games for the Nationals last year, posting a .188 avg, .300 obp, .247 slg 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 avg, .340 obp, .412 slg batting line.
It looks more and more like the Jays are wanting veteran clubhouse guys in the 24th and 25th roster spots with the signings of Henry Blanco and now DeRosa. With Emilio Bonifacio and Rajai David ability to play nearly every position on the field with the exception of pitcher and catcher, don’t look for DeRosa to get too many at bats this season. But what’s great about DeRosa is not only his versatility; he also knows and understands his role. He was looking to be the 25th man on a very good team – he wants a World Series ring over playing time at this point in his career. He is well known as a great “clubhouse guy” around the league.
The signing of DeRosa will come as a surprise to some. Most MLB insiders expected the Jays to pursue a right handed bat with power that could slide into a DH platoon with Adam Lind if needed. Again, I’ve said it before: Russ Canzler would have fit this role perfectly. But it looks like Alex Anthopoulos is more concerned with having some veterans in club house (Blanco and DeRosa) who don’t expect much playing time. Because with this line up and the versatility of the bench, the final 2 roster spots might not combine for 250 at bats all year if the team stays relatively healthy.
Here’s a look at the projected 25-man MLB roster:
R.A Dickey, Josh Johnson, Mark Buehrle, Brandon Morrow, Ricky Romero.
Jeremy Jeffress, Brett Cecil, Steve Delabar, Esmil Rogers, Darren Oliver, Segio Santos, Casey Janssen.
C – J.P. Arencibia
1B – Edwin Encarnacion
2B – Maicer Izturis (I’d prefer Bonifacio, but it looks like it’s Izturis spot to lose)
3B – Brett Lawrie
SS – Jose Reyes
LF – Melky Cabrera
CF – Colby Rasmus
RF – Jose Bautista
DH – Adam Lind
Emilio Bonifacio (LF, CF, RF, 2B, SS, 3B)
Rajai Davis (LF, CF, RF)
Henry Blanco (C)
Mark DeRosa (LF, RF, 1B, 2B, 3B, SS)
You might be asking “where’s Josh Thole?” It appears the Jays are feeling more and more comfortable starting Thole in triple-A despite his chemistry with Dickey. Thole has minor league options and the Jays are feeling good about Arencibia’s ability to catch Dickey’s knuckleball. The two will play together for team USA in the World Baseball Classic and will also have time to work together in Spring Training. It’s actually been reported that Arencibia and Dickey, who both reside in Nashville, TN in the offseason, have already gotten together to get work in. I prefer Thole to Blanco, but the Jays want to veteran presence in the club house that 41-year-old Blanco brings. Look for Arencibia to play major innings if healthy (think Pat Borders in 1992 – most innings played of any MLB catcher).
To make room on the 40-man roster, the Jays designated right-handed pitcher, Sam Dyson for assignment. Dyson, 24, made his MLB debut this past season. He appeared in two games at the MLB level but spent most of the season in the minor leagues. In 74 innings at Class A and Double-A, he posted a 3.04 ERA with 4.6 K/9 and 2.4 BB/9. Dyson must now clear waivers. Look for another team to pick him up.
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