FOXSports.com reported early Wednesday morning that the Phillies are the favorite to land DeRosa, according to a Major League source.
But the Phillies also are seriously interested in Placido Polanco and Adrian Beltre. Other potential candidates such as Miguel Tejada could become possibilities, depending how the market develops.
DeRosa hit .250 with 23 home runs and 78 RBIs last season with the Cleveland Indians and St. Louis Cardinals. He hit .285 with 21 homers and 87 RBIs in 2008 with the Chicago Cubs. He had wrist surgery on Oct. 26, but his representatives said Tuesday that DeRosa should resume baseball activities before Spring Training.
There are reasons why DeRosa would make sense.
He is from the Northeast. He grew up in New Jersey and attended Penn. He has a reputation as a hard worker and good teammate, which the Phillies consider important attributes. He also is not expected to command a major salary, which is why Chone Figgins is not a realistic possibility for Philadelphia. DeRosa made $5.5 million last season.
Of course, those same things can be said about Polanco. He played with the Phillies from 2002-05. He is a hard worker, good teammate and also is unlikely to command a major deal. He made $4.6 million last season.
But one potential sticking point with Polanco is that he is a Type A free agent. If the Detroit Tigers offer him salary arbitration, the Phillies would forfeit their first-round pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft if they sign him.
The Phillies have liked DeRosa for some time. They talked with him and Wes Helms about joining the Phillies before the 2007 season, but ultimately signed Helms. They also tried to trade for DeRosa last winter. The deal ultimately fell through, and the Phillies signed Raul Ibanez to play left field.
Todd Zolecki is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.