• Cost-controlled Chris Perez(notes) becomes the appropriate handcuff for struggling closer Kerry Wood(notes). "He has swing-and-miss stuff," said Indians GM Mark Shapiro. "[Perez] has the potential to be a core contributor at the back end of our bullpen." His path to saves is certainly much clearer in Cleveland than it was in St. Louis. Perez has a closer-quality arsenal -- mid-90s fastball, tough/unreliable slider -- but he's a bit strike zone-challenged (5.70 BB/9). He hasn't recorded a hold since May 27, though he'll soon have opportunities. The Tribe cannot allow Wood's 2011 option ($11M) to vest.
• Asdrubal Cabrera(notes) (shoulder) will be activated from the DL and return to short for Cleveland, while Jhonny Peralta(notes) will play third. Luis Valbuena's(notes) extended audition in the middle infield should continue; he was hitting .321/.436/.538 at Triple-A prior to his call-up in early May. The 23-year-old has modest power and speed, although he's batting just .208 in 125 major league at-bats this season.
• The Indians are clearly in a rebuilding phase, so outfield prospects Matt LaPorta(notes) (9 HR, .301/.370/.522 at Triple-A) and Michael Brantley (23 steals in 26 attempts for Columbus) have both been mentioned as potential call-ups. According to MLB.com, "Neither LaPorta nor Brantley, however, are on their way to Cleveland just yet." Still, it's unlikely that Cleveland is finished dealing.
As for De-Ro...
• St. Louis clearly upgrades at third base, adding a versatile player in the final year of his deal. DeRosa doesn't earn high marks for his infield defense, but that's not a critical fantasy concern. He'll actually make his Cards debut in left-field, batting cleanup on Sunday against lefty Francisco Liriano(notes). Khalil Greene(notes) gets the start at third.
Don't be surprised to see DeRosa bat second on occasion, breaking up the left-handedness at the top of the Cardinals' order (Schumaker, Rasmus). Either way, he'll often find himself on either side of the most dangerous man in baseball. That's not a bad place to be. You can't expect a massive increase in DeRosa's fantasy production, however. He's leaving the third highest-scoring team in MLB. (Cleveland's problem: runs allowed). If Troy Glaus(notes) (shoulder) can somehow make it back from the DL -- he's reportedly hitting, but throwing is another matter -- DeRosa can obviously slide over to second or fill a corner outfield spot. This move should quiet the Matt Holliday(notes)-to-St. Louis rumors, all of which involved crazy price tags.
Cubs fans and bloggers are predictably horrified by the DeRosa (Bleed Cubbie Blue , North Side Baseball). My only suggestion to them is to revisit the second inning of Game 2 of the 2008 NLDS, and the fifth inning of Game 3 from the '07 NLDS. (Seriously, Livan Hernandez(notes) couldn't buy a strike). You won't feel so bad. DeRosa authored the signature moments in consecutive playoff failures.
Whether you're angry, pleased or indifferent about the move, you're now free to comment. For the record, in NL-only leagues I'm not spending top waiver priority for DeRosa, nor am I FAABing too aggressively. Those things are very need- and team-specific, though. DeRosa a nice piece, but not break-the-bank sort of player.
You can't possibly grade this deal until you know the PTBNL. As it stands, this is a swap that serves the interests of both teams.
Photos via Getty Images