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  • Eddie Rosario as a Trade Chip

    Will the Twins trade top prospect Eddie Rosario?With names like Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano and Alex Meyer stealing the headlines, Eddie Rosario tends to get overlooked in the universe of Twins prospects. Rosario didn't appear on the Top 100 prospect lists for MLB.com nor Baseball America prior to this season despite impressive production in both 2011 and 2012, but he figures to find his way onto everyone's lists now after crushing in Ft. Myers during the first half and finishing with a solid showing in New Britain as a 21-year-old.

    It's fairly rare for a kid of Rosario's age to hold his own in Double-A, and by all accounts the athletic Puerto Rican did so while demonstrating noticeable skill at his new defensive home. Rosario transitioned from center field to second base in 2012 as the Twins sought to shift some of their organizational strength to the infield, and as 1500 ESPN's Brandon Warne relays, the organization believes that Rosario now plays like someone "you'd never believe wasn't a natural second baseman."

    Of course, there's a problem here. While Rosario is reportedly adapting very well to second, the Twins have seen Brian Dozier lock down that position in the majors this year. Dozier has produced the best power-hitting season for a second baseman in franchise history, and his defense has been somewhere between good and elite. The organization liked Dozier plenty even before this breakout, so it seems safe to say that the 26-year-old isn't going anywhere soon.

    But what does that mean for Rosario? He could conceivably be moved back to the outfield, but Warne's article also noted that a scout suggested the prospect wasn't a good outfielder. Besides, Rosario doesn't have the offensive profile to stand out at a corner spot (center field, of course, is reserved for Byron Buxton).

    Rosario won't necessarily be ready for the majors next year, but he finished this season with a quality .742 OPS in Double-A (league average was .717) and he's now headed to the Arizona Fall League, where a strong performance could continue to raise his stock.

    And maybe that's exactly what the Twins are counting on.

    It is well known that the Twins are deep on position player prospects and relatively thin on pitchers, especially in the high levels. Swapping minor-league bats for arms has always been a logical play, but Buxton and Sano aren't going anywhere, leaving Rosario as the most highly regarded and expendable trade chip in the system.

    Losing an exciting talent like Rosario, who turns 22 in two weeks, would certainly hurt, but sacrifices need to be made in Minnesota's ongoing quest for starting pitchers with upside. And it's easy to see other clubs coveting him, perhaps even more so than Denard Span and Ben Revere a year ago. If Rosario's defense is truly coming along as well as reports suggest, his offensive upside would be tantalizing at a position where impact bats are difficult to come by.

    What do you think? Would you part with Rosario in return for an impact arm?
    This article was originally published in blog: Eddie Rosario as a Trade Chip started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 178 Comments
    1. big dog's Avatar
      big dog -
      Quote Originally Posted by Zephrin View Post
      We got a very nice haul for A.J. as I recall. Similar situation with Morneau/Dougie.
      True on AJ, but we got an injured LH pitcher who did nothing whatsoever for Dougie. We basically traded him for an open roster spot.
    1. Tuba's Avatar
      Tuba -
      I'm not sure that I trust one good year, Valencia had one good year, Diamond has one good year, Plouffe had an okay year. If you trade Rosario and Dozier has a Valencia like regression then what? What's the rest of our 2B depth like?
    1. Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
      Oldgoat_MN -
      I'm in the camp that says it's too early.

      But Rosario would be the one who could really bring something back. His stats are impressive for his age. The position flexibility is attractive, too.

      Pretty unfair that he's in the same program with the #1 and #3 rated prospects in baseball. He would get a lot more attention if he was playing in any other organization.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Tuba View Post
      I'm not sure that I trust one good year, Valencia had one good year, Diamond has one good year, Plouffe had an okay year.
      Valencia got lucky and many were predicting a step backward. Maybe not a giant leap and then fall-on-his-face backward step, but regression none-the-less.

      Plouffe was only good for ~45 days. The rest of his season was bad. Not even mediocre, just bad.

      On the other hand, Dozier actually looks like the player we were told about in the minors. Steady hands, solid glove, good strike zone judgment. The only surprising thing is the power, which might decline next season. To boot, Brian's BABIP is quite a bit lower than expected, particularly for his style of play. He's not a speedster but he's not slow, either. Any downtick in power has a good chance of being balanced by an uptick in average and OBP.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Look, I am also not 100% convinced on Dozier.......but being afraid to trade Rosario shows what I think TR is thinking also, and then you are left with a bunch of terrible pitchers and the highest ERA in the game. This is a perfect example of what Oakland or TB would do differently, they would deal Dozier this year, while his value is at its peak, and get prospects.....Me, I'd deal one of them and get a legit pitcher (if that offer is out there). Unless you think the Twins are going to get Tanaka, dealing one of these guys for an expensive starter that someone doesn't want to pay is the most likely way to get a legit starter for next year and the next few years after that.
    1. Twinsoholic's Avatar
      Twinsoholic -
      I agree with Mike. Trade Dozier while his value is so high. Look at Plouffe two years ago. 24 home runs. Trade Dozier for pitching much as Span and Revere were traded. Put Beresford at 2nd base for the upcoming season.
    1. markos's Avatar
      markos -
      I think good templates for pitching trades are the Gio Gonzalez and Mat Latos trades made back after the 2011 season. Both of those trades didn't involve a top-10 prospect, but rather a couple of prospects in the 30-60 range. Rosario probably fits that range, if not this offseason then next. May throw in someone like Berrios and that could be enough to get an established #1 starter with 3+ years of team control. However, it is possible that last year's Myers/Shields trade has completely distorted the trade market for starters right now, similar to how the Wheeler/Beltran trade has messed up deadline deals.

      I don't think this is the offseason to make a trade like that. Right now it doesn't seem like there are many teams that are going to start rebuilding (and selling off assets). However, next year may be different. Arizona may decide to start rebuilding if they fail to make the playoffs again. That may mean someone like Patrick Corbin will be available. The Mets may want to speed up their rebuilding, and they may be willing to trade one of their young starters for some young bats. A pitching rich team like the Braves or Cardinals may unexpectedly miss the playoffs and decide to add some offensive talent. Finally, some of the Rays' young pitchers (Chis Archer, Alex Cobb) may start to be too expensive. I don't see any comparable situation this year.

      My suggestion would be to hang on to Rosario this season. Keep him in the minors next year (unless Dozier really struggles or Rosario rakes), and then look to trade him next offseason. Adding one starting pitcher, even one as good as David Price, most likely isn't going to put this team into contention next year. There are too many holes to fill and too many young players that need to develop quickly and all at once. However, hopefully the team will be in a very different position next offseason, and adding one front line pitcher may make the different.
    1. Paul Pleiss's Avatar
      Paul Pleiss -
      Hold on to Rosario. Dozier needs to show he can be the 2nd-half 2013 guy for more than half a season. No need to move Rosario... yet. For a team that has struggled to have competant middle infielders, it seems unwise to trade away a young talent like Rosario after limited success from Dozier. If the Twins have too much depth at 2B, that seems like a good problem to have. I would suggest that it seems Dozier can continue to be a very good 2B with excellent pop for the position, but I want to see more. Patience.
    1. ericchri's Avatar
      ericchri -
      If anyone is willing to trade back a legit pitcher in return you start a trade package from our side with whichever of Dozier or Rosario they like better. Not much reason to hesitate from my point of view. Heck we've still got Polanco coming up in the system looking like a really good 2B prospect as well. We need to start bringing in top-flight pitching, and if that's what it takes, so be it.

      Sano, Buxton, and Meyer are the only guys I'd be unwilling to trade. I'd throw Kohl Stewart on that list too, but he can't be traded until a year after he was drafted/signed, correct?
    1. Badsmerf's Avatar
      Badsmerf -
      I don't think either have much trade value right now. I like both a lot and am excited about them, but to have value other GM's have to feel the same way. Right now I'm doubtful that is the case. Would you trade a guy like Meyer for Rosario or Dozier? I probably wouldn't, and I'm not even super high on Meyer. I would hope the Twins would try to exhaust all options before trading one of them.... unless a deal is good of course. If a deal arose similar to the Span-Meyer trade you have to seriously consider it.

      I don't think anyone outside of Buxton, Sano, Meyer (trading pitching would be dumb) are untouchable.
    1. josecordoba's Avatar
      josecordoba -
      Rosario and Berrios seems low for Price. Perhaps Rosario and Meyer/Gibson gets the Rays to at least consider it. The Twins then would probably need to do a 5 Year Deal in the Neighborhood of 100 Million to make a Price deal worthwhile.
    1. DJL44's Avatar
      DJL44 -
      Not the guy I'd be looking to deal. There are other prospects who probably should be traded before their stock falls - Max Kepler and Travis Harrison come to mind - but the Twins have little depth in the middle infield.
    1. twinsnorth49's Avatar
      twinsnorth49 -
      Maybe I'm wrong but I didn't think the OP indicated this is something we should do this winter, so I don't get the whole "too early" crowd. If Dozier continues his current play next spring then you'd at least have to explore the possibility come the trade deadine.

      I'm still hopeful that Dozier can translate his play to SS though and by 2015 we have them both and by some miracle we acquire some SP depth somewhere along the way.
    1. Trevor0333's Avatar
      Trevor0333 -
      Rosario is seriously being under rated here. Dozier's been a definite bright spot & I'm all for rolling with him & Plouffe starting next season at 3B/2B and make him show this isn't a fluke. Sano & Rosario atleast starting next year at AAA and being called up when you find the right deal for Plouffe & Dozier maybe even packaged with Hammer is the way it should go.
    1. Boom Boom's Avatar
      Boom Boom -
      I'd wait another season before pulling the trigger on a trade like this. For one, Rosario probably isn't going to sniff the majors next year anyway, so there's no rush to trade him. Second, I'd like to see Dozier put together a good year in 2014 before locking him in.
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      If, and I repeat if, one of Dozier/Rosario is traded, I would opt for Rosario. I think that since he is younger, his value would be higher. If Dozier's power is legit, I am not sure Eddie will produce those numbers any time soon. Finally, Dozier could regress on offense, but the defense is legit and it is between good and elite in his first year at the position. Of all the facets of both players' games, Dozier's defense at second base is the one thing we can be most sure of going forward. From a player control point of view, Dozier would be one or two years ahead of Sano, Buxton, Arcia and it is probably good to stagger the guys who will cost money in arbitration.
    1. DakotaTwins's Avatar
      DakotaTwins -
      Quote Originally Posted by pierre75275 View Post
      I would trade him. For one pitcher. Some one who grades out between meyer and gibson and currently pitches in AA or AAA. Somebody like archie bradly or dylan bundy or tj walker (seattle).
      Yeah, I'm pretty sure TR would make one of those trades in a second. And then the opposing GM would be promptly fired by his owner for making one of the dumbest trades in history.
    1. stringer bell's Avatar
      stringer bell -
      I'll post that I am a big Dozier fan. I am happy for him having a very good season and breaking through. I will echo what the others have said about waiting to be sure that his hitting really is what it has been since June before locking him in long term as the Twins' answer at second base. However, as Brock said, this is the player we were expecting last year who didn't show up (plus extra base power). I believe he will be good next year and that at that point he should be considered part of the solution when the Twins are back to being relevant.
    1. Monkeypaws's Avatar
      Monkeypaws -
      The A's would probably trade Dozier before Rosario. I imagine Dozier's value is pretty high right now, probably moreso than Rosario.

      Keep the young cheaper option seems like a viable strategy, especially when the older option is still pretty cheap and has high value, kind of like what the Twins did with CF last off-season.

      Of course there is the Hicks factor to be wary of.
    1. jay's Avatar
      jay -
      Outside of Yankees (Robbie Cano) and Cardinals (Matt Carpenter), no other team has an OPS at 2nd greater than .788. These guys don't grow on trees.

      I'll agree with the others that this is premature. If we're looking for near MLB-ready pitching talent, a near MLB-ready Rosario next offseason is probably more valuable and we get more time to evaluate if he's blocked by a still-performing Dozier.
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