Last Thursday CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman first reported that the Washington Nationals and Mark DeRosa had reached an agreement on a minor league deal for the 2012 season. The deal is reportedly pending a physical, which at this point likely won’t take place until after the new year begins. Assuming he passes the physical – which may not be a certainty considering his injury history – DeRosa will likely come to Spring Training with a chance to make the roster as a bench option.
DeRosa’s defensive versatility is certainly a plus. The veteran has seen significant time at third base, second base, and both corner outfield positions. He is also capable of handling first base if needed. Offensively he’s a career .272/.341/.416 hitter with 93 HR and 452 RBI in 3,757 career plate appearances. The 14-year veteran will turn 37 this February.
Our own Michael Natelli first mentioned DeRosa as a possibility back on November 30th after learning about Chris Marrero‘s hamstring injury. It remains uncertain exactly how long Marrero will be out for, but DeRosa could be a suitable option in the interim. As we discussed at the time, DeRosa’s recent track record is one of concern. After signing a two-year, $12 Million contract with the Giants prior to the 2010 season he’s suffered from multiple injuries which have kept him off the field. He’s made just 201 plate appearances in that time, batting .235/.313/.279 with a home run and 22 RBI. If he’s healthy, he could be a good pickup by the Nationals.
Update, 11:47 AM: The Nationals have officially announced the signing, meaning DeRosa has indeed passed his physical.