Of course something like this would happen while I’m out grabbing a bite, but… uh… this is interesting: according to a team release from the Jays, Mark DeRosa has decided to retire.
And here it sounded to me two weeks ago as though he was pretty certain he wasn’t ready to hang it up, after finally feeling that his wrist was back to where it needed to be in order for him to actually compete, which hadn’t been the case for the three years previous. I suppose 2013 will ultimately prove to have been a nice swansong for him, but it’s a little strange, seeing as he’d been spoken about as the possible platoon partner at DH for Adam Lind, while serving as a backup infielder.
He was also, as we’ve frequently heard, a supposed clubhouse leader and mentor for Brett Lawrie, who the Jays, by exercising his $750K option, demonstrated that they wanted back.
Ahhh, but about that option. In his piece on the sudden retirement, John Lott of the National Post writes:
Even though he agreed to the club option when he signed his Toronto contract, in the end he decided he was unwilling to play again for that salary – the same amount he was paid in 2013.
It’s an interesting explanation– one that, unfortunately, makes you wonder if there’s more to the story– because DeRosa has a young family, and could easily have used that as his reason for not playing.
“My wife always has the line,” he’s quoted as saying in Lott’s piece, “Do you want to raise 24 men or do you want to raise your own sons?”
Considering that, it would be hard to blame the guy. The quibbling over money, though, is maybe a bit odd. But I can see how that might be a “thing,” considering that he’d have been a pretty good bargain next year, given the production he showed he was capable of this year, and the bigger role he’d be asked to fill. Also, it’s hard to make the family excuse when there are rumblings like this:
Rumours for a couple of days that Mark DeRosa might join Cubs broadcast crew. True pro; was a joy to have in a clubhouse.
— Jeff Blair (@GloBlair) November 12, 2013
Of course, if he was going to be a Zaun-like in-studio guy, I’m probably an asshole for scoffing at his family concerns. An opportunity like that, which doesn’t come around every season, and could possibly keep him in one city for the duration of the season, would be hard to pass up.
Obviously, at the end of the day, it’s his career, and I know that all the media guys in this city are going to miss him.
And now, of course, we understand even better why Moises Sierra has been doing work at first base in the Dominican Winter League, as he’s currently the de facto option to platoon with Adam Lind at DH. Though that could change any minute now– and… y’know… hopefully will.
So… there’s that.