ESPN is reporting it's a done deal. DeRosa's a league average bat and a career defensive negative at third base; Chris Perez is probably the best of the three Young Right-Handed Relievers. He's a big price to pay.
Now that we've had a moment to digest I'll take off the Drudge flashers and say that I was off base in suggesting that DeRosa is strictly league average. He'll get on base in front of Pujols, which is wonderful, and after a few years at this new talent level, even in hitter's parks, it's probably fair to assume that he'll maintain it for the four months it'll matter to us.
And his versatility—well, needless to say that his handedness and the fact that another manager has already moved him into the outfield have gotten Tony all faklempt. On the Cardinals, with their left-handed surplus in the outfield, he is peculiarly valuable as a left fielder.
He's an upgrade. But I disagree with the idea that Perez is fungible, even given the volume of hard-throwing right-handers the Cardinals are sitting on at this moment. McClellan and Motte aren't lighting things up in June or this season, either, and while Todd is a fine relief prospect he isn't half the prospect Chris Perez was exactly one year before the Cardinals gave up on him. Perez has better stuff, both scouted and observed, and better numbers at every level than the players he will be replaced by.
This is a nice message trade, and since I've defended La Russa throughout the 13 Pitcher Spectacular it would be inconsistent for me to say that keeping the team On Board is suddenly unimportant. And If the Cardinals get to the playoffs this year the deal can be said in some way to have worked, like it did when they traded for Chuck Finley. But four years from now this will be remembered as the Chris Perez trade.