The St. Louis Cardinals have plugged a hole in their lineup, and upset a bunch of general managers in the process. The highly coveted Mark DeRosa is headed to St. Louis in a deal that will send Chris Perez and a player to be named later to the Cleveland Indians.
Many expected DeRosa would be moved as the trade deadline approached in late July.
The deal should add some offense to the Cardinals lineup, as DeRosa is batting .270 with 13 home runs and 50 RBI. Although he is expected to play third base, he is capable of playing second base, left field, or right field as well.
ESPN's Baseball Tonight was highly complementary of the trade.
Former Cardinal Eduardo Perez mentioned how La Russa will mix and match a lineup more than any other manager in the game, and how DeRosa's versatility gave his new skipper many more options.
Buck Showalter simply described him as a "baseball player," explaining that he left his ego at the door and would do whatever it takes to win the game.
DeRosa's presence should add a bit of spice the next time the Cardinals and Cubs get together, as he was wearing Cubbie blue just last year.
This trade makes great sense for a team making a push when they think this is the year to make a run. The Cardinals are finishing up a process of getting younger and rebuilding, but DeRosa, at 34, won't exactly be the third baseman of the future.
Considering what the Cardinals gave up, this deal could prove to be a steal. Chris Perez is young, talented, and can bring the heat as a reliever. That said, the Cardinals already have Jason Motte, who is also young, but can also hit triple digits on the radar gun.
Perez seemed to not have a place in the bullpen, so it makes sense to make the team better and give him a chance to further his career. It will also be interesting to see who the player named to be later is.
Joe Thurston comes to mind as someone who may complete the trade, although that is complete speculation on the author's part.
If the Cardinals would have given up more than they did, this trade would have been horrible, but because they did not give up a ton, this deal could work out well for both teams, and help the Cardinals make that final push towards another NL Central crown.