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Moving Eddie Rosario, but Where?

Posted by Ted Schwerzler , 15 October 2019 · 2,105 views

minnesota twins eddie rosario byron buxton thad levine derek falvey
If there’s a lineup fixture from the 2019 Minnesota Twins that Derek Falvey should look to move before 2020, it’s Eddie Rosario. Despite lacking outfield depth down the stretch, the organization should be flush with options in the coming season, and a cheap commodity could be picked up on the open market. When trying to capitalize on return, this is the time. The elephant in the room is whether any of the other 29 teams see adequate value.

You’ll quickly hear that Rosario hit a career high 32 dingers this season, and he plated 109 runs. His .276 average was the lowest it’s been since 2016, but his .500 SLG just missed being a career high. Entering his second year of arbitration eligibility he’s projected to get just shy of $9 million (per MLB Trade Rumors), and performance would only create an increase from there. If we stop at that then there’s little reason not to be enamored by his performance.

It’s when you consider that Rosario produced just a .300 OBP, .329 wOBA, and 103 wRC+ (100 is league average). He’s still the guy that doesn’t walk at all (3.7%) and has no relative clue where the strike zone is (46.3% chase rate). In the Postseason he was an absolute abomination, and even his “good” production in game three came through pitches he had no business generating positive results off. Unfortunately stepping out of the batter’s box doesn’t make it any better.

During his debut season Rosario posted an 11 DRS in the outfield. His 16 assists were reflective of a strong arm and astute mind that constantly had him in position to make a play. His arm still performs above average (he had 8 assists in 2019) but the DRS dropped all the way to -8. He posted a career worst -5.6 UZR ranking 44th among 50 qualifying outfielders. Often looking disengaged, and if not then overmatched, defensive prowess is no longer a calling card of his.

When Falvey and Thad Levine approach the opposition this winter, they’ll be looking to engage trade partners for pitching. Dangling Rosario as a preferred trade chip, they’ll be working with the premise that the best is yet to come. Their sell must be in the form of a 28-year-old still waiting to hit his peak, and one that can do significantly more than his 1.2 fWAR this season. At $9 million he’s no longer a cheap commodity, and team control isn’t appealing if Rosario becomes a non-tender player a year from now.

You can bet that those in the game are smarter than getting sucked in by hollow production stats largely derived by the 127 starts out of the cleanup spot. Minnesota won’t likely see the return they seek in a one for one swap and making Eddie the foundation of a deal could result in a project or fresh situation type of return. There’s nothing wrong with both sides in a trade coming out as winners, but unlike the Aaron Hicks deal of a few seasons ago, it’s Minnesota that will be pawning off promise as opposed to projectable production.

Rocco Baldelli probably isn’t thrilled about the idea of rookies Brent Rooker, Trevor Larnach, or Alex Kirilloff starting in the Opening Day outfield for a team coming off 100+ wins. Those prospects could immediately force play their way into action though, and a veteran presence manning the fort vacated by Rosario until they are ready is hardly a difficult ask. Much like Byron Buxton being mentioned in talks for the Mets Noah Syndergaard, Rosario was representative of an immovable asset during the season. While Buxton is still untouchable for a handful of reasons, it’s Rosario that now is unprotected by current clubhouse chemistry.

We will sit on wait on a potential deal to be consummated, but while we do there must be an understanding that the front office will need to be astute salesmen while getting any swap done.

For more from Off The Baggy, click here. Follow @tlschwerz

  • tarheeltwinsfan, Strato Guy and In My La-Z-boy like this



Rosario's trade value is very limited.

    • dcswede and bighat like this
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Kelly Vance
Oct 15 2019 05:09 PM

I disagree with this article and all those calling for Rosie to be traded.

 

He drove in 109 runs and hit 32 homers.Does anyone really think one of the rookies will replace those numbers? He is a bad ball, low ball hitter. He doesn't hit for high average.So what? He makes plays.

 

I know he has some moments when you think he may be dogging it, but he played a good part of the year on bad wheels. 

 

I would trade the prospects before this guy. I know they look like the shinier pebbles right now, but that is all just speculation. Rosie has proven he can play at the major league level, which is more than you can say for the prospects. Plus, he is a difference maker. When he is healthy, and comes up with runners on, I expect something good is gonna happen. Twins hit him 4th. That means they are high on him. 

 

But if they trade him to the Yanks, he will hit 45 homers

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Ted Schwerzler
Oct 15 2019 05:25 PM

I disagree with this article and all those calling for Rosie to be traded.
 
He drove in 109 runs and hit 32 homers.Does anyone really think one of the rookies will replace those numbers? He is a bad ball, low ball hitter. He doesn't hit for high average.So what? He makes plays.


This is a common refrain from anyone scouting his stat line. He did those things and was STILL barely above league average. He doesn’t get on base, he drove in runs because he batted cleanup, and he’s a poor fielder. You aren’t a bad ball hitter just because you swing at balls. He’s a bad ball hitter because he can’t tell a strike nearly 50% of the time.
    • JW24, tarheeltwinsfan, Tomj14 and 1 other like this
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Crackedfungo
Oct 15 2019 08:15 PM

 

This is a common refrain from anyone scouting his stat line. He did those things and was STILL barely above league average. He doesn’t get on base, he drove in runs because he batted cleanup, and he’s a poor fielder. You aren’t a bad ball hitter just because you swing at balls. He’s a bad ball hitter because he can’t tell a strike nearly 50% of the time.

This comment from your article was idiotic: "and even his “good” production in game three came through pitches he had no business generating positive results off."What the he77 does that even mean?Who has any business getting away with a pitch in the dirt, a grooved fastball, a snow cone catch, a batted ball off the rubber or a base, or a blooper over the shift?Sometimes results come from just being capable.Sorry, your article has many assumptions (that any touted minor league player can replace Eddie's production, clubhouse influence, etc), that Eddie is expendable and can create an equitable asset in a trade.Moreover, how many .278 hitters with 30+ HRs and 100+ RBIs have we had in the past 25 years (before this year)?That's right, one.Justin Morneau.This year, he is joined by only Cruz.That makes 3 in 25 years.Yep, really expendable.What do you expect to get for him in terms of SP, and what will be the impact on the OF and in the clubhouse?

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I oppose anything Jim Souhan supports.

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Ted Schwerzler
Oct 15 2019 08:38 PM

I oppose anything Jim Souhan supports.


He is a shmuck, that’s fair.

Rosario may not bring the type of pitching that we need. You cited the 103 WRC and the $9 million contract. Not sure there is enough excess value there. I would explore a trade of an outfielder for pitching.It may have to be one of the prospects. MLB trade rumors mentioned Colorado may be looking at trading Story or Jon Gray as they are in a payroll bind. They would probably want the prospect outfielder. Gray may do better away from Coors.

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Ted Schwerzler
Oct 15 2019 09:53 PM

 

Rosario may not bring the type of pitching that we need. You cited the 103 WRC and the $9 million contract. Not sure there is enough excess value there. I would explore a trade of an outfielder for pitching.It may have to be one of the prospects. MLB trade rumors mentioned Colorado may be looking at trading Story or Jon Gray as they are in a payroll bind. They would probably want the prospect outfielder. Gray may do better away from Coors.

That's exactly the pitcher that Zone Coverage's Brandon Warne mentioned moving Rosario for. I would be ecstatic if that's the type of return they could get. I think that would involve some other very real pieces for the Twins though, and would include the sell job I mentioned on Rosario's prospects in Colorado.

    • tarheeltwinsfan and In My La-Z-boy like this
Eddie is someone I enjoy watching and take away his RBIs and HR from the past year and we might not have won the Central...Put him back in Left Field and he will do great in 2020. At least he brought his bat to the playoffs....
    • Kelly Vance likes this
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Ted Schwerzler
Oct 16 2019 11:05 AM

 

Eddie is someone I enjoy watching and take away his RBIs and HR from the past year and we might not have won the Central...Put him back in Left Field and he will do great in 2020. At least he brought his bat to the playoffs....

I mean, he hit a meaningless solo shot in the 8th inning of game three. He was 1-9 in the first two games with 4 K

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In My La-Z-boy
Oct 16 2019 12:20 PM

Good take Ted. The other side of the argument is maybe more powerful.

Rosario doesn't bring us a stud by himself. Buxton or Kiriloff probably do.
Rosario still has upside - maybe more upside than Buxton or Kiriloff - debatable.
Will either Buxton or Kiriloff materialize - I don't know? I suggest Rosario has already materialized with more upside to come.

This is why Falvey was hired. To make the right call.

I am not convinced Buxton will ever stay healthy and give us a season.
No one can know if Kiriloff will fulfill his promise.

I say Eddie keeps getting better and I say he is our swagger guy. Every champion needs a swagger guy - an attitude guy - a clubhouse guy, and Eddie is one of the young guns who all came through the system together. There is some karma there I don't want to mess with. 

You don't just simply replace 32 HRs and 109 RBI with any one of the current corner outfield prospects we have.And if all of the terrible stats mentioned about Eddie Rosario are true, what team in their right mind would give up good quality pitching for him? 

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MMMordabito
Oct 17 2019 11:22 AM

 

Eddie is someone I enjoy watching and take away his RBIs and HR from the past year and we might not have won the Central...Put him back in Left Field and he will do great in 2020. At least he brought his bat to the playoffs....

 

I mean, he hit a meaningless solo shot in the 8th inning of game three. He was 1-9 in the first two games with 4 K

 

Using 2019 playoff performance as a reason to move a player would work for every other hitter on the team not named Polanco, Cruz or Arraez.Arraez still had a negative WPA and made the WPA for some of his pitchers worse as well.  

 

If Eddie's 923 OPS is an "absolute abomination", then the Twins are pretty much screwed.

 

It's funny, Ted, how you can point to the small sample sizes of the Twins playoff games to condescend Twins fans who are fed up with playoff futility, but then turn around and twist the timeliness of how a single player's small sample size is organized across that small sample size to deem his production abominable.

 

... and Souhan's a shmuck? There's this old story about removing the plank from your own eye, so you can see clearly to remove the grain from your peer's. Just sayin'.

    • Kelly Vance likes this
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Ted Schwerzler
Oct 17 2019 11:33 AM

If Eddie's 923 OPS is an "absolute abomination", then the Twins are pretty much screwed.

It's funny, Ted, how you can point to the small sample sizes of the Twins playoff games to condescend Twins fans who are fed up with playoff futility, but then turn around and twist the timeliness of how a single player's small sample size is organized across that small sample size to deem his production abominable.

... and Souhan's a shmuck? There's this old story about removing the plank from your own eye, so you can see clearly to remove the grain from your peer's. Just sayin'.

A .923 OPS over the course of 13 ABs is what you're quantifying as more valuable than a season's worth of production? Also, my 1-9 remark was stating that if you're excited about his lone good performance, it overlooks the first two games.

I'm also not sure how the relevance of Twins teams from a few years, or even decades ago, have any bearing on what the 2019 group did. They got swept. It stinks. The Yankees are good. That stinks too. None of that has any real connections to what took place years ago.

There have been rumors (who knows how much truth there is to them) that the Red Sox are interested in possibly moving Betts due to payroll issues. Rosario and Kirilloff to start the conversation with Boston in a deal that would send Betts to MN?

 

There have been rumors (who knows how much truth there is to them) that the Red Sox are interested in possibly moving Betts due to payroll issues. Rosario and Kirilloff to start the conversation with Boston in a deal that would send Betts to MN?

The Twins could never afford Betts...

 

I mean, he hit a meaningless solo shot in the 8th inning of game three. He was 1-9 in the first two games with 4 K

Meaningless? it made the the game 3-1 at the time. Not his fault the bullpen gave up 2 in top of the 9th and Kepler swung and missed (again) and Cruz stood there and took strike 3 in the bottom. 

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Ted Schwerzler
Oct 17 2019 02:15 PM

 

Meaningless? it made the the game 3-1 at the time. Not his fault the bullpen gave up 2 in top of the 9th and Kepler swung and missed (again) and Cruz stood there and took strike 3 in the bottom. 

Meaningless in the sense that there was no feeling in the stadium that it was going to play into the final result at all. He hit it, the crowd erupted, and immediately it was a library again. It was a holo homer, just as his slash line was for 2019.

 

I mean, he hit a meaningless solo shot in the 8th inning of game three. He was 1-9 in the first two games with 4 K

 

Dude at least he got us on the board.

 

Arraez hits that HR and you'd call him "the one guy with guts on this team who is still trying".

 

I know Eddie has his faults, but this Eddie-hating is ridiculous.

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Ted Schwerzler
Oct 17 2019 03:06 PM

There's no "hate" or malice towards anyone. As someone that's both a fan but then also puts so much time into covering the team, I'd hope for nothing more than everyone be productive. A guy worth 1.2 fWAR with an .800 OPS is not anything to be excited about or look to make excuses for.

 

My hope is that they can trade Rosario under the premise that he's the 3.0+ fWAR guy from 2018 and we get a nice return.

 

There isn't emotion here.