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Giants Sign Mark DeRosa

January 1, 2010

The Giants made their first significant transaction of the offseason, signing veteran utility INF/OF Mark DeRosa to a two-year, $12 million deal.  DeRosa hit .250/.319/.433 with 23 doubles and 23 big flies for a .327 wOBA.  Here’s a few projections on DeRosa for 2010:

Bill James: .260/.335/.418, 27 2B, 17 HR, .328 wOBA, -0.2 RAA

Fans: .273/.345/.437, 25 2B, 18 HR, .344 wOBA, +6.9 RAA

CHONE: .255/.333/.414, 24 2B, 17 HR, -1 RAA

Both James and CHONE see DeRosa as being roughly league average with the bat, while the Fans are quite optimistic that he’ll be a good, above average hitter.  Call me an optimist, but I’m more likely to side with the Fans on this one.  Mark’s BABIP in 2009 was .286, which is substantially different from the consistent .330-.340 marks he was posting in his 500+ AB seasons the past couple of years.  His batted ball rates dipped a bit, which explains why his average on balls in play would be lower, but his expected BABIP is around .304, which would raise his line to .267/.334/.453.  So it looks like Mark suffered from a bit of “bad luck” last year.  DeRosa’s versatility will make him an asset to the organization, as his ability to play left field allows the Giants to pursue a third baseman (I’m thinking Adrian Beltre, whom the Giants have been linked to) or a first baseman (Adam LaRoche).  He’s not an impact player by any means, but he’s a welcome addition to the lineup in that he’s an above average hitter.  As of now, it looks like DeRosa will be the starting third baseman, shifting Pablo Sandoval to first.  So we’re essentially replacing the current Giants’ first base situation with DeRosa’s bat.  Parsing through the numbers, it looks like DeRosa’s luck and park-adjusted line (if you believe in that sort of translation) suggests that he’d present a +10.3 run difference in 2009, which would have given the Giants an extra win with the bat (not taking into consideration glovework).

For two years and $12 million, the Giants have made a solid signing.  Let’s just hope that DeRosa’s slip in production was due to poor luck and not actual regression, and that the Giants bring in a complementary bat to solidify the middle of the order as best they can.

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