DeRosa's decision to retire was announced by the Blue Jays in a statement Tuesday, less than two weeks after Toronto exercised his $750,000 club option for next season.
"While I still had the opportunity to return as a player, it became clear to me that the chance to begin a career at MLB Network was too good to pass up, and I am very excited to get started," DeRosa said in a statement from MLB Network.
DeRosa was a guest analyst on MLB Network during the post-season in 2011 and this year. He will make his debut on MLB Tonight live from the winter meetings in Florida on Dec. 9, the network said.
The 38-year-old infielder spent 16 seasons in the majors. He hit .235 in part-time duty last season, his only one in Toronto, with seven home runs and 36 RBIs in 204 at-bats.
DeRosa finished his career with a .268 average, 100 home runs and 494 RBIs in 1,241 games with Atlanta, Texas, the Chicago Cubs, Cleveland, St. Louis, San Francisco, Washington and Toronto. He appeared in the playoffs six times.
DeRosa grew up in New Jersey and attended the University of Pennsylvania.