The man without out a home on the diamond now has a new permanent address. Mark DeRosa has reportedly signed a two-year agreement with the San Francisco Giants worth an estimated $12 million dollars. DeRosa, 35 in February, has played six positions since 1998, but figures to settle in at third base for the Giants on most days.
Over the past few seasons, DeRosa has transformed from a ground ball/singles hitting back up infielder with the Braves to a slightly above-average offensive utility man with decent enough pop to give you 40-50 extra base hits a year if given enough at-bats. He isn't likely to repeat his 2008 wOBA of .376, and is coming off a season in which he had surgery, but still is a likely candidate to fall between .330-.340 wOBA range. He strikes out from time to time, but isn't a true hacker. He'll take a few walks, but nothing extraordinary.
The early reports have DeRosa playing the hot corner in San Francisco, which happens to be the position he's played most last season, and has throughout the duration of his career. Overall, he has rated below average at the position in nearly 2,500 career innings. If the Giants put him at third, that moves the Kung-Fu Panda, Pablo Sandoval to first base. Realistically, DeRosa is better suited for corner outfield duty, and could still see some time there.
Strangely enough, Sandoval was actually better at third base in 2009 than DeRosa, but it's one year of data. In a small sample size, the Panda has shown to be just slighly below average at third in just over 1,100 innings. We must also take Travis Ishikawa into consideration as he figures to the odd man out in this scenario. Ishikawa rated as an above average first basemen last season while being a below average hitter. In all three cases, the defensive data is a bit incomplete.
Overall, at an average annual salary of $6 million dollars, DeRosa is a decent signing. He isn't spectacular, yet a 2 WAR season is likely. That would make him "worth" the dollars, if not a bit more. The flexibility he gives the Giants to play 3B, 2B, 1B and corner outfield without being a complete butcher prevents him from blocking a particular player at one position. With DeRosa, Sandoval, Ishikawa and possibly re-signing Juan Uribe, the infield in San Francisco is likely to have a lot of moving parts in 2010.