Confirming reports that have been around for a few weeks now, CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) is reporting on Twitter this afternoon that the Washington Nationals and 36-year-old, 14-year veteran infielder Mark DeRosa have agreed on a deal pending a physical. FOXSports.com's Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) wrote last night that the Nats and DeRosa were close to agreeing on what a source told him, "... will be a one-year major-league deal." DeRosa, according to Mr. Rosenthal's sources, "...will play super-utility role, serve as RH hitter off bench," with Washington.
DeRosa has appeared in just 73 games total over the last two seasons, with a combined .253/.313/.279 slash in 201 plate appearances over which he's hit just five doubles and one home run. DeRosa returned to the Giants' lineup last August after reinjuring his surgically-repaired wrist early in the 2011 season and put up a .367/.439/.388 line with one double in 57 plate appearances.
MLB.com's Bill Ladson (@washingnats) has confirmed the Nats' deal with DeRosa. FOXSports.com's Mr. Rosenthal reported on the Nationals and DeRosa talking a few weeks ago in an article entitled, "DeRosa looking for opportunity", in which he wrote that the 1996 Atlanta Braves' 7th Round pick, who's since played for the Rangers, Cubs, Indians, Cardinals and Giants, had spoken to Nationals' skipper Davey Johnson about signing with Washington and, "... came away encouraged by the conversation."
The Nationals' manager told reporters he thought DeRosa could fill an important role on the Nats' bench backing up Adam LaRoche, who's reportedly 100% recovered from surgery to repair a labrum and rotator cuff damage to his shoulder which rendered him ineffective during the first year of the two-year deal he signed with Washington last winter. An injury to young first baseman Chris Marrero only compounded the Nats' need to add a right-handed option off the bench. While the "pending a physical" part of these reports is usually just a formality, in this case it will be interesting to see if DeRosa's wrist is in fact healed enough for him to contribute on a regular basis after two seasons in which he missed significant time.
Still no official word from the Nationals.