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DeRosa the Favorite at 3rd?

The Phillies have reportedly put free agent Mark DeRosa atop their wish list to fill the team's void at third base. Reports state DeRosa could sign with Philadelphia by the end of the week. The 9 year Major League veteran, grew up in New Jersey and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania. He was originally a 7th round draft selection of the Braves in 1996.

DeRosa, a right handed batter, is a career .275 hitter with a .767 OPS. A versatile fielder, he has played 6 different positions in the majors, including all four infield spots. In 311 career games at the hot corner, DeRosa has a .955 fielding percentage.

Comparatively, the Phillies' previous third baseman Pedro Feliz had a .254 career batting average and a .715 OPS. He also had a .964 fielding percentage in 899 career games at third base. Great defense aside, Feliz's offensive production has been on a steady decline. Feliz's OPS has dropped in each of his past six seasons. Phillies management obviously saw an opportunity to improve the lineup and are seeking the right option with which to do so.

The price tag for DeRosa is also likely quite appealing to the Phillies. Other top options for the position like Chone Figgins and Adrian Beltre are sure to demand considerable deals. There's also been some talk of former AL MVP Miguel Tejada being prepared to make a move from shortstop to third base, and he should also come at a greater price than DeRosa. Figgins earned roughly $5.8 million in 2009 and is younger than DeRosa. Beltre has earned over $13 million each of the past 2 seasons. Tejada earned over $14 million this past year. DeRosa earned $5.5 million in 2009.

DeRosa recently underwent surgery to repair a torn tendon sheath in his left wrist. He is expected to be ready to resume baseball activities well before spring training.

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Fairly big news for this site should be announced soon. If you keep up with PhoulBallz on Twitter, you'd know it involves a top prospect in the Phillies organization.

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