Cubs add DeRosa

The Chicago Cubs today announced that the club has agreed to a three-year deal with free agent infielder Mark DeRosa, a nine-year veteran with a .273 career batting average who has logged time at all four infield positions as well as the outfield.

DeRosa, 31, established career highs in nearly every offensive category in 2006 with the Texas Rangers, including games (136), at-bats (520), runs (78), hits (154), doubles (40), home runs (13) and RBI (74). In addition, he ended the campaign with a career-high (minimum 250 at-bats) .296 batting average (154-for-520), while his 74 RBI were more than the 73 he totaled in the 2003-2005 seasons combined with Atlanta and Texas. DeRosa excelled against southpaws, as he batted .342 (50-for-146) against left-handed pitching.

A versatile fielder, DeRosa appeared at six different defensive positions in 2006 and was one of nine Major Leaguers to start at all four infield positions. He recorded a .993 fielding percentage (1 E/137 TC) in 26 games at second base, a .971 fielding percentage (3 E/104 TC) in 40 games at third base and a .993 fielding percentage (1 E/138 TC) in 64 games in the outfield, appearing in left field and right field. He also had seven games at shortstop and one game at first base.

DeRosa was named the Rangers' Player of the Month in June after batting .370 (40-for-108) with 11 doubles and 10 RBI for the month. He earned the honor again in August, hitting .327 (36-for-110) with five homers and 25 RBI to become the first player since Michael Young in 2004 to earn the monthly honor twice in the same season. Additionally, he was named the American League Player of the Week for August 7-13 after he hit .433 (13-for-30) with four home runs and 15 RBI during that stretch.

Originally selected by the Atlanta Braves in the seventh round of the 1996 First-Year Player Draft, DeRosa has appeared in 595 Major League contests with Atlanta (1998-2004) and Texas (2005-2006). He has 449 hits in 1,643 at-bats with 93 doubles, 38 home runs and 193 RBI.

The right-handed hitter owns a .306 career batting average (146-for-477) against left-handed pitchers while posting a .284 average (138-for-486) in daytime contests. DeRosa has been clutch with the bases loaded, going 16-for-42 (.381) with the sacks packed, including a .563 mark (9-for-16) in 2006.

DeRosa has appeared in the post-season on three occasions, all with Atlanta from 2001-2003. He owns a .467 batting average (7-for-15) in the Division Series, and also appeared in four games against Arizona in the 2001 National League Championship Series.

The Passaic, N.J., native has appeared in 114 career games at second base, logging a .984 fielding percentage (8 E/494 TC). He owns a .995 mark (1 E/191 TC) in 102 games manning the outfield and a .974 fielding mark (12 E/456 TC) in 137 games at shortstop. In addition, he owns a .947 fielding percentage (18 E/340 TC) in 147 games at third base and has also appeared in three games at first base without committing an error.

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