The Associated Press reports the St. Louis Cardinals have traded relief pitcher Chris Perez and a player to be named later to the Cleveland Indians for infielder Mark DeRosa. DeRosa's versatility makes him a reasonable solution for the Cardinals, who have been trying to fill the void at third base because of the absence of Troy Glaus (shoulder).
NL-only players will have a gem to bid on this week; DeRosa's roster flexibility (eligibility at second base, third base and outfield in most leagues) has complemented another strong campaign (.270-13-50 this year, including a 17-RBI June).
The vet enters a weaker offense but doesn't suffer much in terms of fantasy value. His place in the lineup could help, too, depending on how close he sits to first baseman/machine Albert Pujols.
He should be scooped up immediately in NL leagues. Owners in those games who must bid on free agents should recognize the incoming value of DeRosa due to his numerous roster slots and continued offensive growth. The price will probably be steep, so weigh your needs and whether you want to make your big buy a month before the MLB non-waiver trade deadline. Since DeRosa is arriving well before other big names may enter the Senior Circuit, he'll have an extra month to contribute and therefore should be much more valuable.
Owners in AL leagues will also be running to acquire Perez, who presumably becomes next in line for saves in a shaky Indians 'pen. Perez has faltered in June after posting a combined 2.30 ERA in April and May. However, closer Kerry Wood has been erratic, and Cleveland's new righty gives them a fallback plan that had considerable closing experience with the Cards in 2008.
Perez could be scooped up by save speculators, but don't bank on an impending change unless Wood continues to melt down; they gave their offseason signing a big contract to close.
This likely also cements Cardinals reliever Jason Motte as the next in line to current stopper Ryan Franklin and as St. Louis' future at the position. Keeper leaguers and those hungry in the category should note the implications.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum, who competes in the prestigious LABR and Tout Wars, has won numerous industry leagues in both baseball and football.
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