Today, former Chicago Cub Mark DeRosa announced his retirement from baseball. In his 16 year career, DeRosa spent time playing for eight different teams, most recently with the Toronto Blue Jays. His best years in his career came when he spent two seasons with the Cubs in 2007 and 2008, before being traded away to the Cleveland Indians in a deal that brought them back Chris Archer, who was used in the deal to get Matt Garza, who was later traded for prospects like C.J. Edwards and Mike Olt.
Upon being traded from the Cubs though, fans were pretty upset. He might very well have been the best second baseman the Cubs had since the great Ryne Sandberg retired, or if not then he is definitely in the discussion. Fans could not believe that the Cubs would dare trade away one of the better players the team had the past two years. Hindsight being 20/20, the made the right decision to trade him when they did. Outside of 2009, DeRosa never managed to play more than 88 games in any given season. He got hit with the injury bug pretty hard.
While playing for the Cubs, DeRosa was one of my favorite players, because he could do pretty much everything. The Cubs played him all over the field, making him one of the most valuable platoon players in baseball. I was saddened when they decided to trade him, but I knew that his value would never be higher and you should always trade someone at the top of the mountain instead of when they start going down hill. The Cubs traded him at the perfect time, and sold him for peak value.
Looking at his numbers, and injuries the past few years, you would not give his retirement a second thought. He clearly is at the end of his career, and likely knows that there will not be many landing spots for a 39 year old player who cannot stay healthy. But there could also be another reason why DeRosa is announcing his retirement before even dipping his toe into the free agent waters.
As you know. Keith Moreland left the Cubs radio booth, but what you may not know is that DeRosa’s name is rumored to be on the Cubs short list of former Cubs who might be considered for the vacated position. How valid this list is, only the writer of the piece knows, but the timing of his retirement is interesting.
Of course, the timing could also be nothing more than a coincidence.
Would DeRosa be a good fit to fill the vacated seat next to Pat Hughes in the Cubs radio booth? Much like with the most popular and common name Cub fans bring up (another man rumored to be on the list) Kerry Wood, I am not sure if he would be a good broadcaster. He may be a very good baseball player, someone who knows the ins and outs of the game, but how good of a job would he do with in game discussion and analyzing what is going on every game?
DeRosa might be one of the more popular players in recent Cubs history, but that should not mean anything in terms of looking for a new radio broadcaster. Being a popular , well loved player does not mean much if you are stumbling over words during the broadcasts. Though, that never seemed to bother Cub fans when the late Ron Santo was on the air.
Is DeRosa the right man for the job? Only time will tell. But one thing is for sure, fans would rather hear DeRosa on the broadcast team than one of the other names on the list, Ryan Theriot.
Update 11/13/2013: Yeah, so that’s not happening…DeRosa is going to MLB Network instead. It was fun while it lasted though.