May 20, 2009

Indians third baseman Mark DeRosa is one of the first veterans to hit the trade block.

Cleveland is now fielding offers for the versatile DeRosa, league sources say.

The Indians are looking mainly for pitchers who can help them now. Although they are off to their second straight horrible start, the Indians are apparently not close to giving up hope in a tight AL Central. Pitching has been their main problem in their 14-26 start (8 1/2 games back from the division-leading Tigers).

The Mets are one possibility for DeRosa, since the versatile 34-year-old could play first base, but it's believed Nick Johnson tops their wish list, with Aubrey Huff or possibly Russell Branyan likely ahead of DeRosa. The Mets would have greater interest in Indians star Victor Martinez, but there's no indication Cleveland would consider trading him.

DeRosa is a skillful utilityman who can also play second base and both corner outfield spots. He plays many of the same positions as Casey Blake, who was traded from Cleveland last summer to the Dodgers in a deal that helped both teams (the Indians received stud catching prospect Carlos Santana).

DeRosa is a free agent after the year and makes $5.5 million.

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