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Former Nationals bench player Mark DeRosa is retiring from Major League Baseball after 16 seasons, the Blue Jays announced on Tuesday. DeRosa, 38, played with the Nationals in 2012 before signing with Toronto.
Known for his outgoing personality, DeRosa helped provide veteran leadership to a Nats team coming into its own. He batted just .188 through 48 games in Washington, but was a constant presence in a relatively young locker room. He was never afraid to speak up and say something to the press or make a speech to his teammates.
DeRosa never made an All-Star game, but enjoyed several solid seasons in the second half of his career. In 2008 at the age of 33 he hit .285 with 21 home runs and 87 RBI with the Chicago Cubs. He followed that year up with 23 homers and 78 RBI at 34 years old with Cleveland and St. Louis.
By the time DeRosa joined the Nationals he was far from the player that hit double-digit home runs, but he definitely contributed positively to their locker room dynamic. The younger players, including Bryce Harper, looked up to him. He sang karaoke before games to keep his teammates loose, and he would speak his mind if he saw something that needed to be fixed.
After leaving the Nats, DeRosa played in 88 games with the Blue Jays last season. He batted .235 with seven home runs and 36 RBI.
DeRosa was drafted into the league by the Atlanta Braves out of the 7th round of the 1996 MLB Draft. He made his debut on Sept. 2, 1998 at the age of 23 and played for eight different MLB teams. DeRosa now calls it a career with exactly 100 home runs and a .268 average in 1241 total games played.
TBS brought DeRosa on to their broadcast team in October for the playoffs and he was very good at providing analysis with the same honest style that made him so popular among teammates over the years. Television could very well be in his future as he moves forward in life after baseball.