DeRosa, Giants reach agreement

By JANIE McCAULEY
AP Baseball Writer

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The San Francisco Giants hope Mark DeRosa can provide the power in the middle of the lineup they’ve been seeking this winter.


The Giants made their first big splash of the offseason Monday,
reaching an agreement with the free-agent infielder on a two-year
contract. Giants spokesman Jim Moorehead said the 12-year veteran was
in San Francisco and passed a physical Monday. The team planned to
formally announce his deal Tuesday.

One of
general manager Brian Sabean’s top priorities this offseason was
upgrading the Giants’ offense — and acquiring DeRosa is a significant
step in that direction.

San Francisco also is working to finalize a contract to bring back infielder Juan Uribe.


DeRosa, who turns 35 in February, has been on the Giants’ radar for a
while. He can play on either corner in the infield or outfield, giving
San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy greater flexibility with his lineup.
He likely will play third, moving slugger Pablo Sandoval to first and
giving the Giants more power and offensive punch at that position.


DeRosa underwent left wrist surgery after the 2009 season, when he
batted .250 with a career-best 23 homers to go along with 78 RBIs for
Cleveland and St. Louis. He was traded from the Indians to the
Cardinals on June 27 but was in the St. Louis lineup for three games
before hurting his wrist against San Francisco. He spent a stint on the
disabled list for an injury that was later diagnosed as a partially
torn tendon sheath.

DeRosa, who struggled
offensively with the wrist injury, led the Cardinals with five hits (5
for 13) when they were swept by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the NL
division series.

The Cardinals had hoped to
re-sign DeRosa, who declined their salary arbitration offer. He is a
career .275 hitter with Atlanta, Texas, the Chicago Cubs, Cleveland and
St. Louis.

The 30-year-old Uribe began the
2009 campaign as a backup but wound up playing in 122 games at third,
shortstop and second in his first season with San Francisco. He batted
.289 with 16 homers and 55 RBIs.

The
Giants were in the NL wild-card chase well into September but missed
the postseason for the sixth straight year. At 88-74, they won 16 more
games than in 2008. Sabean has been committed to boosting the offense
for a team that boasts one of the top pitching staffs in baseball, led
by two-time reigning NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum.


San Francisco already brought back second baseman Freddy Sanchez, who
was acquired in a trade with the Pirates on July 29 but was limited to
25 games because of injuries. The three-time All-Star signed a $12
million, two-year contract extension in late October.