Over at MLB.com, Bill Ladson is reporting that the Nationals are considering free agent utility man Mark DeRosa. The veteran will turn 37 before next season begins and is coming off one of the worst two week stretches of his career. Prior to the 2010 season DeRosa signed a two year, $12 Million free agent contract with the San Francisco Giants. A pair of wrist injuries, however, limited him to merely 73 games and 201 plate appearances during that span, in which he batted just .235/.313/.279 with 1 HR and 22 RBI. His defensive versatility has long been his biggest asset, as he has experience across the diamond at every position aside from catcher and pitcher.
DeRosa presents an affordable bench option and a decent fill-in for injured first baseman Chris Marrero. Marrero tore his hamstring a few weeks ago while playing for the Licey Tigers in the Dominican Winter League. Marrero says he won’t miss the entire 2012 season and the Nationals do already have Adam LaRoche coming off injury. Of course, they could shop him in order to get rid of his $7 million salary so that they can use the funds elsewhere.
On another note, Marrero’s injury may open the door for the Nationals to go all-out on a free agent like Prince Fielder. Analysts and Front Office members alike previously pointed out that having Michael Morse, Marrero, and LaRoche would make it somewhat illogical for Washington to pursue Fielder. Yet, with Morse likely playing left field in 2012, LaRoche potentially getting traded, and now Marrero’s injury it is unclear who will play first base in 2012. Now, the general consensus amongst our staff here at DoD is that the Nationals should stay away from Fielder, but with Marrero’s injury, the door is certainly open for Washington to go that route.
Another name to watch is Carlos Pena. There has been little to no mention of him in association with Washington, but with the recent (apparent) opening at first, they may see him as a somewhat more affordable option that will leave some cash for them to go after a front-line ace.
DoD Site Editor Aaron Somers contributed to this post.