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Earlier in the year, there was some soft buzz about the Mark DeRosa trade, which had taken place over the offseason. Lou Piniella, the rumor went, was frustrated with Mark DeRosa, and wanted him off the team. It was strange when it came out, but DeRosa never really denied that he believed it to be true.

But now he does. So that’s good.

Mark DeRosa doesn’t know how the story started that his trade from the Cubs to the Cleveland Indians was caused by a rift with manager Lou Piniella.

”That was a shock to me,” DeRosa said Friday, his first time at Wrigley Field since the offseason trade. ”I was interviewed by someone who asked if I thought Lou was the reason I was traded. I said I didn’t know the reason, and that you look at numbers and that is probably what goes into a trade.” CHICAGO SUN-TIMES.

DeRosa’s original quote was much more assertive in saying “I don’t know, I really don’t” know if Piniella was the reason he was traded. I imagine there was still some frustration at having been dealt at that time. Now it sounds like DeRosa’s more or less over it.

Which is good, because now maybe he can come back to the Cubs.

DeRosa said he had a good relationship with Piniella, who arrived in 2007 when DeRosa did.

”There was never one moment in two years we didn’t see eye-to-eye,” he said. ”His door was always open. He spoke directly to you — sometimes very directly.”

General manager Jim Hendry repeatedly has said there was no problem between Piniella and DeRosa and that the Cubs always regarded DeRosa highly. Hendry said again this week that DeRosa was traded to open a spot for a left-hander in the lineup — that player becoming switch-hitting outfielder Milton Bradley.

Setting aside the obvious Sun Times blunder there (the lefty spot that DeRosa’s departure opened up was for Mike Fontenot – um, duh? Fukudome, a lefty, was replaced in right by Bradley, and Fukudome slid over to center to replace Jim Edmonds, a lefty), it’s good to hear the positive things said by the Cubs about DeRosa and DeRosa about the Cubs.

Sure, it may not amount to more than a middle school do-you-still-like-me-fest, but in the off chance that the Cubs consider adding a proven starting-caliber utility player, it sounds like emotionally, DeRosa could be an option.

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