What to do with Mark DeRosa has been a big topic coming down the stretch, given that DeRosa is a free agent after the season. There's a certain line of thought that DeRosa has figured it out, that he's established a new level of performance and should be compensated accordingly.
Some things to consider, though...
Mark DeRosa will be 32 on Opening Day, 2007.
He finished the 2006 season with an 813 OPS and a .276 EQA. Very solid for a middle infielder or a third baseman. Not real good for a corner outfielder.
DeRosa had a huge platoon differential, putting up a 983 OPS against lefties and a 746 OPS against righthanders.
He also slumped in the second half, posting a 756 OPS after the All-Star Break.
I've seen suggestions by Rangers fans that he should be brought back for 3 years at $4-6 million per year.
I have a hard time believing DeRosa is ever going to have another season as good as his 2006 season, and thus have a hard time seeing how he'd be worth that type of money.
He's not worth that money as a corner outfielder, even if he repeats his 2006 performance.
He's might -- MIGHT -- be worth that as a third baseman, although for the Rangers to commit to that, they'd have to move Hank Blalock when his value is the lowest it has ever been. And the team would also be gambling that he's going to perform better at the plate than he did in the second half of the 2006 season.
Paying that much money to Mark DeRosa, though, really only makes much sense if you are planning at playing him at second base or shortstop. And the Rangers don't need a second baseman or a shortstop.
I don't see how the Rangers can justify paying the money it will likely take to bring him back. Even if the Rangers don't go get that big corner outfield bat that they seem to be targeting, they've still got Brad Wilkerson and Nelson Cruz as the likely starting corner outfielders, with Jason Botts at DH, and Victor Diaz as an option, as well.
DeRosa's role on the 2007 Rangers would probably be as a platoon 3B who would also spot start at 2B, SS or the outfield occasionally, a guy who'd end up with about 250 plate appearances.
How much money is that really going to be worth?