The Toronto Blue Jays continued building their team of the present by signing veteran utilityman and Bergen Catholic grad Mark DeRosa to a one-year, $750,000 contract.
DeRosa is expected to fill in at a variety of positions and hit somewhere near the Mendoza Line. I was mildly surprised that DeRosa received a guaranteed MLB deal, considering that his only tool — his bat — left him about four years ago, but there are remarkably few veteran utility players out there. A halfway decent, experienced bench guy who can play multiple positions and understands his role (i.e., isn’t seeking a starting or platoon job) is getting to be as difficult to find as reliable LOOGY or backup catcher.
Speaking of backup utility players, Cesar Izturis signed with Cincinnati about a week ago; I think we missed that one here on MetsToday. Interestingly, Izturis received a minor-league deal, despite the fact he still has a Major League tool (his glove).
The Red Sox gave a minor-league contract to Armando Galarraga, who, other than that near-perfect game, hasn’t been terribly effective since going 13-7 in 2008. By the way, he just turned 31 last week, so he’s no spring chicken, either.
The Rays have signed Shelley Duncan, Juan Carlos Oviedo (a.k.a., Leo Nunez), and Jamey Wright. Jamey Wright? Isn’t he 147 years old? I’m pretty sure he made his debut when I was in the fifth grade — and that was back when there were phone booths, party lines, rabbit ears on top of TV sets, no internet (or computers), and kids under 10 rode in the front seat, without a seat belt. Oviedo/Nunez is coming off Tommy John surgery, and likely to miss most of 2013, so it’s a two-year deal.
Bobby Crosby signed a minor-league deal with the Brewers. I’ve always liked him, but I’m not sure why.
Finally, the Red Sox agreed — again — to sign Mike Napoli. The original three-year, $39M contract is now one year, $5M, with incentives that could boost his salary to $13M. The change in heart and dollar amount is due to the discovery that Napoli has avascular necrosis in both of his hips, a degenerative condition that could affect his playing time.
In other news, the Mets are seriously thinking about a lot of things. And Sandy Alderson is working on a few trades that may or may not happen.
About the Author
Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.