SAN FRANCISCO, CA - AUGUST 28: Mark DeRosa #7 of the San Francisco Giants during a game between the Houston Astros and the San Francisco Giants at AT&T Park on August 28, 2011 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by Tony Medina/Getty Images)
Both CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) and FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) wrote last week that the Washington Nationals and 36-year-old, 14-year veteran infielder Mark DeRosa had agreed on what Mr. Rosenthal's sources told him before Christmas, "... will be a one-year major-league deal," pending a physical. DeRosa, according to Mr. Rosenthal's sources, would, "... play super-utility role [and] serve as RH hitter off bench," with Washington. The Washington Nationals (@NationalsPR) made the deal official this morning, announcing on Twitter that the, "Nationals agree to terms with free-agent INF/OF Mark DeRosa on one-year contact."
"DeRosa has hit .272 w/ 179 doubles, 93 homers, 452 RBI and .341 OBP since debuting with ATL in '98," the Nationals wrote in a follow-up message on Twitter, but DeRosa has played in just 73 games total over the last two seasons which he spent in San Francisco. DeRosa posted a combined .253/.313/.279 line in 201 plate appearances with the Giants as he struggled to recovery from a wrist injury. When DeRosa returned to the Giants' lineup in August of '11 after reinjuring his surgically-repaired wrist early last season, he posted a .367/.439/.388 line with one double in 57 plate appearances.
MLB.com's Bill Ladson (@washingnats) too confirmed the Nats' deal with DeRosa last week pending a physical. Nationals' skipper Davey Johnson told reporters recently that he thought DeRosa could fill an important role on the Nats' bench backing up Adam LaRoche, especially after the injury to 23-year-old first baseman Chris Marrero this winter, which will reportedly keep the young first baseman on the DL until the All-Star Break. In a press release on the signing, the Nationals note DeRosa's versatility, writing that he's, "... started games at six different positions during his career, including 75 or more starting assignments at third base (282), second base (265), right field (135) and shortstop (79)."