Mark DeRosa? Still with that old gag?
It's opening day and there are still Cub fans longing for our old hero, known as DeRo, who will probably spend his off-days this summer trying to extinguish lake fires in Cleveland.
First, they're right to miss the guy. He was extremely versatile, he hit the ball well, and he was on a short list of team MVPs last season. Now he's gone. But people continue to state that losing DeRosa was a mistake. It was a salary dump that didn't dump salary. It allowed for a positional upgrade for a player who isn't likely to be better. It was, in short, a terrible mistake. (According to those people.)
I don't think it was a mistake at all, though. I understand the reasons the trade happened, and although I've blue-faced myself in explaining them on this blog, I will do it again.
- Mark DeRosa is in his mid 30's coming off of a career year. Those guys don't have multiple career years unless they're injecting things.
- Mike Fontenot is in the prime of his career and has demonstrated tremendous ability to hit at the Major League Level. Furthermore, he bats left handed.
- The Cubs needed another guy who bats left handed.
- Based on a variety of factors, Fontenot projects to be better defensively at second than DeRosa and they should have very similar offensive seasons.
The funny thing is that while people will point out that Fontenot is "no sure thing" as a starter, nobody has stopped to consider that maybe DeRosa isn't a sure thing, either. He's especially not a sure thing to duplicate his '08 season, and if we really look closely we'd realize that he's a career sub who's had 3 decent years in a row. That's a trend, and a nice one, but it's hardly a certainty of future output.
Therefore, I say again ... are we still caught up on the departure of DeRosa? Is there really anything he can do that Fontenot can't do, besides play three or four positions and juggle while riding a unicycle?
The Cubs are an absurdly potent-looking team with a ridiculously high-projected offensive output. I don't really think they'd even look better with DeRosa there. So I say to you, Cub fan reading this blog, forget DeRosa and Fonteyes!