DeRosa Dealt To Cardinals

Versatile Mark DeRosa was traded by the Indians to the St. Louis Cardinals on Saturday night for reliever Chris Perez and a player to be named. General manager Mark Shapiro announced the deal after Cleveland's 7-3 home loss to the Cincinnati Reds. Perez is expected to join the Indians on Monday, while the team has until Sept. 1 to choose the other player from a mutually agreed upon list.

"This was the right time to do this deal," Shapiro said after Cleveland fell further into last place in the AL Central Division.

"It is a deal that can help us for this season and on into the future as we will be getting two quality players."

The bullpen has been the biggest reason for Cleveland's disappointing 31-45 record and Perez is expected to be the latest candidate to try and shore up the weakest link.

The 23-year-old right-hander is 1-1 with one save and a 4.18 ERA in 29 appearances for St. Louis. In 23 2-3 innings since being called up from Triple-A Memphis, he has allowed 17 hits and 15 walks, striking out 30.

"He's got swing-and-miss stuff," Shapiro said. "He's got a fastball that sits in the 93 (mph) to 95 range and has hit 98. And he's got a swing-and miss slider.

"But he still has some development to do."

Perez, who will turn age 24 on July 1, began the 2009 season at Memphis by going 1-0 with two saves and not allowing an earned run in four innings before being recalled to St. Louis on April 15.

Since the recall, he has allowed just two of 15 (13.3%) inherited runners to score, sixth best in the National League. He has been working in a setup role.

Perez also split the 2008 season between Memphis and St. Louis, being promoted to the majors on May 16. He was 3-3 with seven saves and a 3.46 ERA in 41 outings with the Cardinals, fanning 42 in 41 2-3 innings. After being sent back to Memphis for awhile, he was called back up on Aug. 6 and converted seven of his last nine save opportunities.

"He's a player we have profiled since college," Shapiro said.

The Cardinals made Perez a "sandwich round" selection in the 2006 draft, No. 42 overall, out of Miami, Fla.

DeRosa, acquired by the Indians on New Year's Eve from the Chicago Cubs for minor-league pitchers Jeff Stevens, John Gaub and Chris Archer, batted .270 (75-278) with 47 runs, 13 doubles, 13 homers and 50 RBI in 71 games for Cleveland.

DeRosa, who played for Team USA in the World Baseball Classic, opened the 2009 season as the Indians' third baseman, but has played other spots where players have been injured. He has seen action in seven games at first base, 42 at third, and 25 in the outfield. Originally a shortstop, he was the Cubs' starting second baseman a year ago.

DeRosa will be a free agent at the end of the season.

The Indians are expected to activate infielder Asdrubal Cabrera from the disabled list on Sunday to take DeRosa's roster spot. Cabrera has been out since June 3 with a strained shoulder.

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