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.

Royals clinch home field advantage, best record in the American League

Lorenzo Cain
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With a 6-1 win over the Twins in Sunday’s season finale, the Royals clinched the best record in the American League, which nets them home field advantage in the ALDS and ALCS. The Royals stand at 95-67 while the Blue Jays, who lost on Sunday, finish at 93-69.

95-67 is the Royals’ best record since finishing 97-65 in 1980, when they lost the World Series to the Phillies. Their division title is their first since 1985.

In the ALDS, which starts on Thursday, the Royals will host the winner of the AL Wild Card game between the Astros and Yankees. They are looking to avenge last year’s World Series loss, in seven games, to the Giants. The Blue Jays will host the Rangers in the other ALDS series.

Yankees to host AL Wild Card Game after Astros lose to D’Backs

Jacoby Ellsbury, Tony Pena
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Both the Astros’ and the Yankees’ fates were decided before their own games had completed on Sunday. The Rangers defeated the Angels, which clinched a Wild Card spot for the Astros. Then the Astros dropped Sunday’s season finale to the Diamondbacks, which clinched the first AL Wild Card slot for the Yankees. The Yankees are on their way to a loss against the Orioles as of this writing, but that will not affect anything now.

The Astros were in a 3-3 tie with the Diamondbacks in the seventh inning, but reliever Chad Qualls served up a two-run home run to Paul Goldschmidt. That would prove to be the deciding factor in a 5-3 loss.

The Yankees are losing 7-4 to the Orioles behind a subpar start by Michael Pineda and a shaky performance by the bullpen.

The MLB postseason opens up with the Yankees hosting the Astros on Tuesday in the AL Wild Card game. The winner moves on to face the Royals in Kansas City in the ALDS.