Three Strikes: Why Eddie Rosario Should Stay
Eddie Is Who He Is
Eddie is a solid hitter and left fielder. Sure, his RBI stats are inflated a bit by batting in the middle of the order, but his last three full seasons he’s averaged 27 home runs. His career OPS is 788. He’s consistently played in 135+ games. And his defense in left field – outside of 2019 when he clearly played hurt – has been above average per Ultimate Zone Rating every year.
Is he a middle-of-the-order bat? He’s probably stretched in that role. But a player doesn’t need to bat fourth to be worth $10M. In fact, being pried into that role, while helping his RBI totals, may have hurt his reputation with fans, who were frustrated that he wasn’t the cleanup hitter they wanted. But it’s not Rosario’s fault he wasn’t in a more suitable spot in the batting order.
He Drives Opponents Crazy
He’s maddening, but he’s been effective. He led the team in RBI the last three years. Granted, he had a lot of opportunities, but someone still needs to cash those chips. Eddie did.
He also had a nose for the huge play. Sometimes it was a baserunning play that made no sense but somehow worked. Sometimes it was a walkoff home run. Or (swoon) that throw in Boston. He has deserved his reputaion as a fan-favorite. (By the way, those links are worth clicking on. They are the best of the Eddie Rosario Experience.)
He’s Not That Expensive
Arbitration aamounts after this shortened season are less clear than previous years, but Rosario would likely make around $10M if the Twins offered arbitration. First, that’s not a lot of money for a starting corner outfielder. In this pandemicized MLB market, it might be a little more than he’s worth, but the Twins are in a competitive window where they should pony up for quality regulars.
Finally, it’s only effective to cut salary if the team spends it on an upgrade. This year, with $40M or so to spend on free agents, that likely means chasing some high-profile free agents. The Twins haven’t been linked to many outside of trying to re-sign Nelson Cruz.
Rosario is the kind of player a competitive team holds onto. He’s good at his job, he has a nose for the big play, he’s expensive but not crazy expensive, and he deserves a chance to see the rebuild (that he was a part of) pay off. Rosario may not be the difference between the Twins winning a championship or not in the upcoming few years. But he also might be. That should've be reason enough to hold onto Eddie.
Now read Three Strikes: Why Eddie Rosario Should Leave
- ToddlerHarmon likes this