Cardinals acquire DeRosa from Indians

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Late Saturday night, the Cardinals acquired Mark DeRosa from the
Indians in exchange for Chris Perez and a player to be named later.
Bandied about in trade rumors for the better part of the last two
months, DeRosa was batting .270/.342/.457 with 13 homers and 50 RBI in
his first season with the Tribe. Known for his versatility with the
glove, DeRosa will see most of his time at third base.

He figures to be a huge boost to a Cardinal team that has been looking
for a solution at the hot corner ever since Troy Glaus went down with a
right shoulder injury this spring. This season, Cardinals third baseman
have combined to hit just .227/.300/.367 with six homers and 26 RBI. If
Glaus somehow manages to return, DeRosa could easily slot in at second
base or the outfield.

DeRosa also adds a righty bat to a lineup that sorely needs one.
Sure, they have Pujols, but as a team, the Cardinals have a pathetic
.228 batting average against left-handers, third worst in the majors.
The team has only hit 17 homers against southpaws this season, but keep
in mind that nine of them have come off the bat of Pujols. Lastly, the
acquisition of DeRosa is a nice jab to the rival Cubs, who are
jockeying for position with the Cardinals in the competitive National
League Central. It’s a great trade for the Cards.

As for the Indians side of things, Perez, a former 2006 first-round
draft pick, will enter a bullpen that has been a disaster this season.
So far they have pitched to a 4.97 ERA, third worst in the majors,
while serving up 35 home runs. Only the Yankees have given up more.

Perez has a 3.78 ERA, 1.37 WHIP and 71/37 K/BB ratio in 64 1/3 career
innings in parts of two major league seasons. The 22-year-old
right-hander has a 4.18 ERA, .195 BAA, and 30 strikeouts in 23 2/3 in
2009. He projects as a future closer for the club. As for the player to
be named later, since DeRosa was so coveted on the trade market, the
Indians will probably get a legitimate prospect, as well. This trade
can’t possibly be judged from the Indians perspective until we find out
who that second player is.

Phillies, Red Sox interested in Carlos Santana

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The Phillies and Red Sox appear intent on pursuing free agent first baseman Carlos Santana, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reports. Santana rejected a one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offer from the Indians on Thursday and is expected to draw widespread interest on the market this winter. The Mets, Mariners, Angels and Indians could make a play for the infielder, though no serious offers have been made this early in the offseason.

Santana, 31, is coming off of a seven-year track with the Indians. He batted .259/.363/.455 with 23 home runs and 3.0 fWAR last season, making 2017 the fourth-most valuable year of his career to date. Although he was primarily stationed at first base over the last year, he could step back into a hybrid first base/DH role with the Red Sox, who are hurting for infield depth with Hanley Ramirez still working his way back from shoulder surgery.

As for Santana’s other suitors, the Mariners are far less likely to pursue a deal after trading for Ryon Healy last Wednesday. Neither the Mets nor the Phillies have a DH spot to offer the veteran infielder, and the Phillies’ Rhys Hoskins appears to be blocking the way at first base. Then again, Santana may not find a more enticing offer outside of Cleveland, where Edwin Encarnacion might otherwise be the club’s best option at first base. During the GM meetings, Indians’ GM Mike Chernoff said he “love to have both [Santana and Jay Bruce] back” in 2018, but hasn’t backed up that love with any contract talks just yet.