It seems the Mark DeRosa sweepstakes are over before they even had a chance to heat up, as the Indians have traded the versatile infielder/outfielder to the Cardinals in exchange for RHP Chris Perez and a player to be named later.
DeRosa was hitting .270/.342/.457 with 13 homeruns and 50 RBI, spending time in left field, right field, at third base and first base. He also played some shortstop and second base with the Cubs in 2008, so Tony La Russa will have the flexibility to play him almost anywhere on the diamond.
Perez was rated the third-best prospect in the St. Louis organization before the season by John Sickels at Minor League Ball. Sickels graded him a B+, saying, "Outstanding closer-quality stuff, just needs to throw strikes.".
DeRosa was rumored to be heading to the Cubs as recently as Saturday, and we also counted the Mets, Yankees and Marlins among his other suitors. DeRosa is in the final year of a three-year, $13 million deal he signed with the Cubs before the 2007 season. His salary for 2009 is $5.5 million, with the Cardinals to pay the $2.8 millino or so remaining.
The player-to-be-named-later should be a good one, if Cleveland GM Mark Shapiro is to be believed:
"It's an important piece for us. That's a structure that we've felt has worked well for us in past trades, in times where we've acquired guys like Coco Crisp and Michael Brantley. It's a piece that adds significant value for us."
More on the PTBNL when information becomes available. For additional coverage check out Viva El Birdos and Let's Go Tribe.