Chicago Sun-Times
with sports reporters Chris De Luca and Gordon Wittenmyer

DeRosa will be missed

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Mark DeRosa for Aaron Miles? I wouldn't make that deal - definitely not an upgrade for the Cubs in 2009. But if you look at it from the Cubs' overall objective of balancing their lineup - without the perfect (not to mention affordable) monster lefty bat readily available -- then the bigger picture looks more like DeRosa and Felix Pie for Miles and Joey Gathright.

And that starts to make more sense, and even starts to look like an upgrade for the Cubs.

And when GM Hendry explains that the Cubs have few positions to choose from when considering changes, the Cubs' thinking on trading the popular and productive DeRosa becomes clearer. Not even counting the $3.3 million in net 2009 savings between DeRosa and Miles.

But DeRosa will certainly be missed - perhaps even more than Hendry and his front office realize.


``It certainly has nothing to do with the type of player DeRo is or was,'' Hendry said of the decision to trade one of the team's most valuable players during the past two playoff seasons. ``He was an integral part of winning the last two years. He certainly lived up to everything we thought he would be.''

Miles, 32, also is a versatile player, like DeRosa - having played seven positions last year alone, including pitching an inning. And he's an adept hitter. But he hasn't proven he's an everyday player for a full season, has nothing close to the pop DeRosa has and doesn't come close to the on-base ability of DeRosa.

It will take more than Miles to make up for what the Cubs lost when they traded DeRosa.

Start with the fielding quality that comes with DeRosa's versatility - in particular how well he plays the corner outfield spots and third base when not manning second. He was an upgrade over the starters in some of those cases, including playing an exceptional third base, where Cleveland will use him.

Then there's the hitting. Despite what ultimately became his curse of being a right-handed hitter in a right-heavy lineup, DeRosa was the key to the Cubs having the top bottom-order production in the NL in 2008. He had one of the top on-base percentages on the team and turned in two of his top three homer and RBI seasons while with the Cubs, while batting almost exclusively sixth and seventh in the order - creating hitting situations for the players behind him, and, in turn, making Soriano more valuable in the leadoff spot for the same reason.

And, finally, he was one of the steadiest, most positive clubhouse influences in a room full of good chemistry, pro-attitude guys - with one of his greatest contributions being his willingness to draw the pregame media mobs off the shoulders of teammates on a regular basis in the cramped home clubhouse. For that reason alone, his absence will be felt among teammates, as well as media members.

Miles said Wednesday his signing with the Cubs gives him an opportunity to show his old St. Louis front office that it might have made a mistake in letting him go. The Cubs only hope they don't discover the same thing with DeRosa next season.

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16 Comments

I'm really sorry to see DeRosa leave, BAD MOVE!! Chemistry is hard to come by and plus the fact what Mark brought to the Cubs will be hard to place. As far as getting Peavy, well i believe he's over rated. San Diego is friendly to pitchers, but his road record isn't great,spend the dollars elsewhere

How could we trade DeRosa. He was the heart and soul of this team, MVP of this team as far as im concerned. He was mentioned in the Peavy deal which i didnt like but understood. Aaron Miles does not improve this team at all. I hope Hendry has something up his sleave to improve this team because so far, it has been a failure.

Mark was a class act player, whenever you needed him to play infield, he'll do it, whenever you needed him to play outfield he'll do it too. I think if you asked him to pitch, or catch he would have done that to with no complaints. He was one of those players that a team values the most not just for his production, nut for his versatility.
He will be missed on this ball club. Good luck Mark, you'll do great in Cleveland.

The ONLY way to look at this deal, Gordon, is to look at the WHOLE picture. What are our areas of need? A lefty bat, some speed at the top, and a center fielder top the list. A pitcher (proven) to round out the rotation would be a plus, but is not a priority and they've affirmed that.

By getting young pitching prospects, Baltimore might be more tantalized by a deal for BR. San Diego would definitely be in the mix, as all they are looking to do is shed payroll without having to bring back mediocre players in return. If I'm SD, I want prospects, keeping in mind the financial situation. It makes sense.

Milton Bradley is going to be a huge upgrade in CF no matter who we'd originally wanted in that spot. We also have Gathright, who has some speed and might have to platoon on occassion. You also have to figure that Fukudome will round out this year, as I believe people have been waaay to hard on him overall.

At any rate, it appears the Cubs have a load of options now. Strictly evaluating this trade based on us also acquiring Miles is being shortsighted. Miles obviously will not replace DeRo. We still have Cedeno, Fontenot, and a few others to either help out as utility men...or sweeten a trade deal.

The only way this makes sense is if it leads to a bigger deal. Just getting more left-handed doesn't justify this in my mind. The whole lefty/ righty thing is overrated. My wife is left-handed, that doesn't make her a better hitter than Derosa. This only makes sense if it leads to Roberts or Peavy.

I've been a big supporter of Jim Hendry... until lately. We don't need to give up a bunch of contributors for Peavy. Lots of potential arms already in the fold. Bradley is bad news personified. Go get Abreu! Gonna miss DeRosa. And Hank White! Since when are we pinching pennies? I don't get any of this.

If the Cubs land Roberts or Peavy from this then I will be happy with the trade. DeRosa was an awesome player and a great Cub, but you have to look at it from the Cubs organization. You want to add as much quality as possible, but you dont have the money. The Cubs traded DeRosa and Signed Miles. Miles may not be as good, but he's versatile and offers a switch hitting bat. This is also an opportunity to get Mike Fonenot's lefty bat more playing time. Miles also offers more speed on the bases and a possible leadoff man for the team. The money they saved trading him is going to allow them to sign an outfielder(I still dont know about Bradley, but we'll see I guess). The Cubs also get 3 pitchers in return. Theyre planning on trading Marquis to the Rockies and getting a reliever in return there which saves the Cubs more money. Suddenly they have some cash and players (along with Pie and Cedeno) to use as trade bait for a really good player. That could be a leadoff man in Roberts (not likely since they have Miles and Fonenot). Or another pitcher in Peavy (no he isnt great, but hes an upgrade over Marquis and better than Marshall right now). Zambrano, Dempster, Lilly, Peavy, Harden... Harden gets extra rest in the 5th spot, and the Cubs have one of the best, if not the best, starting rotation in the NL. If this happens it will lead to Cub wins, and thats what fans want. You cant harp on the organization about losing and then not wish for them to sacrifice some talent to potentially better the club. If the Cubs dont land Peavy, Roberts, or another impact player like that then this move is a mistake. Otherwise it will be worth it. And based on these sudden moves you'd have to guess they would go for something big soon.

Notice to the Cubs....Please don't sign Milton Bradley to a 3 year contract. Didn't you learn anything from the Jacques Jones experience? As soon as this guy makes an error or throws to the wrong base, he will be booed mercilessly and become a target for sports radio hosts. If you can get Bradley to sign a 1 year contract, go for it and catch lightning in a bottle. No way he lasts 3 years in the scrutiny of Chicago!!

Great job Hendry, trading the heart of the team, why would you want to keep a player that played 6 positions for you last year, batted over 300 and popped over 20 homers, I can see why you wouldn't want somebody like that on your team. Do you remember somebody named Mark Grace!!!!! Same type of player, I guess talent, leadership, and good chemistry, oh and did I forget to mention a great team player and a model citizten aren't real high on your priority list. Thanks again for another dumbXXX move.

Well once again Hendry put us in a great situation to win..(NOT) I will never forget this trade .. well we picked up more pitching ...? why is the question .. i thought we were set with pitching ... is that not what lou pinella said...i think the Cubs need to get their Heads out of there butts.. and pursue the right deals and trades.. if they have not noticed .. Alfonso Soriano has killed us.. so lets just start there and see what else is in store for the Cubs..!

I liked DeRosa too, but the Cubs didn't get very far in the postseason for two years in a row with him, so sticking with the status quo doesn't guarantee they're going to go further this year. Like the Bears, sticking with the same formula for three years in a row doesn't mean the team is going to win a Super Bowl (or a World Series) and maybe it's time for a change. I'm not saying Miles is an upgrade, but I understand the reasoning behind the change.

Derosa was terrible defensively wherever he played, anyone who thinks otherwise is fooling themselves. I liked his bat, but fontonot is going to be a very good lefty at 2nd. Derosa was especially terrible in right, and that would have been the only place to put him so it makes sense he had to go. Wait till we get our team in order and then you won't complain about every little thing. Go Cubbies!

I like DeRosa - he liked being a CUB. That makes it hard for him to leave, but we all understand the nature of the beast!

Cubs GM Jim Hendry has hopefully learned a lesson by giving players no-trade clauses. He has now tied his hands by not being able to trade DLee and/or Soriano. If he could deal one or both of these guys, the Cubs could make the moves necessary to win a World Series. This caused the trade of DeRosa since he was movable but also probably the most valuable Cub last year.
Stop the NO-TRADE contracts Mr. Hendry.

I am really disappointed and mad that Mark DeRosa was traded. What a great guy and Cub baseball player. What are you guys thinking about. What more do you want from a player like DeRosa. A very disappointed CUB FAN!!!!!!

The Pulse was a great ballplayer, a hell of a teammate and a stand up model for North-sider mentality. He contributed to the winning cause and was the hero in too many of last season's games to count. I hope he does well in the Indians and in the rest of his career. As was previously stated, the De Ro trade will be in vain unless they make more big moves for a high-quality player. I have faith that 2009 will be a good year for the Cubs and it should start well with the right moves in the offseason.

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This page contains a single entry by Gordon Wittenmyer published on December 31, 2008 8:25 PM.

Cubs pull out of Peavy sweepstakes was the previous entry in this blog.

New contract: $4.9 million. Cards as rival: priceless is the next entry in this blog.

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