Oh hey, more of this VTRN LDRSHPPPPPP noise, as the Jays have signed journeyman infielder Mark DeRosa, to presumably fill their right-handed bench coach void. Cue inspiring first bio line from the club’s press release:
DeROSA, 37, batted .188 with five doubles and six RBI in 48 games for the Nationals last season.
They’re giving him $750,000 for this season, with a club option for the same amount in 2014, and have designated Sam “Best Stuff In The Organization” Dyson for assignment to clear room on the 40-man.
For what it’s worth:
— Mike Wilner (@Wilnerness590) January 22, 2013
Welp. At least he’s good for something– y’know, beyond making Mike McCoy miserable– because the numbers over his past three seasons have been pretty damn fugly.
Granted, he still hits lefties better than Adam Lind, posting a .323 wOBA and 103 wRC+ over the last three years (albeit in just 121 PA), compared to Lind’s .236 and 34. But DeRosa has been about that bad against right-handers, and hasn’t been great in the field when asked to play the outfield or at third base. He’s been OK at second over the three years, in a tremendously small sample, but that’s not the point is it? The point is leadership-y bullshit, and DeRosa is making a mint off his reputation for providing it, and the coincidence that his teams keep making the playoffs.
Like the DeRosa signing for Jays. One of the best clubhouse guys in baseball. Was around Giants and Nats when they got good.
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) January 22, 2013
Talk me off the ledge, Drew:
All statistics are another way of measuring worth.
The same applies for leadership and intangibles. We can dismiss it and laugh it off and whine about the inability to capture and place value on these skills, but the front offices of Major League Baseball teams obviously value them. So “the thinking fan” must as well. If the front office thinks having “veteran presents” in the clubhouse, it’s because they believe it will help the team win more baseball games.
It might not make sense to piss away a roster spot when extracting value from every player on the 25 man but that which a player like Mark DeRosa offers is valuable to someone. The manager, the highest earner, whomever. If Mark DeRosa was the only mascot in the league, then we could wonder if Alex Anthopoulos is off his rocker. But he isn’t (and he isn’t.)
Fair points, all. Though I can’t pretend that I believe that because everyone else is doing it, it must be OK. Most NHL teams have enforcers, too. Doesn’t mean it’s not dumb.
However, given that DeRosa won’t be called on too much, and offers something close to enough from an offensive standpoint to be a useful 25th man on a club with a deeper bench than we’re used to seeing, I can understand choosing him and the experience he can share over someone like McCoy, who’d simply be happy to finally be there, and not able to offer a whole lot more on the field. (Yes, I can accept that there really may be something to that, all else being pretty much equal.)
Mike Wilner of the Rogers-owned Rogers Sportsnet gets to the same nut in an extensive column on the Rogers-owned club’s latest acquisition, that was posted a whole eleven minutes after the press release went out in an email. Man, that guy works fast! Especially since he often tweets that he files his columns with his editors, and they don’t show up for quite a while after that point. Hmmm…
Anywho, since it’s January, I suppose I can get on board with all this. I mean, it’s not like there was some wonderful pool of elite talents vying for this kind of role. It’s just… when August rolls around and we find that the club is actually pressed into using him, or into playing guys when hurt in order to avoid it– not that I can ever think of an example of that sort of thing happening *COUGH* Omar Vizquel *COUGH*– I’m not going to be as kind to the idea as I might be right now.
No, DeRosa certainly didn’t kill his teams the last three years, and the equation has changed a bit for the Jays, to the point where it almost makes sense to not absolutely maximize the sheer on-field talent on the roster, but… colour me a bit skeptical.