Last season, Eddie Rosario went from playing on a .500 Cleveland team to playing on another .500 team in the Atlanta Braves. The difference between the two 2021 stints was that the Braves got hot over the summer and went on to win the World Series.
Furthermore, Rosario played a crucial role in Atlanta’s championship run, serving as a considerable threat from the left side while playing left field. For the better part of his big-league career, Rosario has been a smooth, line-drive hitter. He’s poised to be a highly productive bang-for-the-buck signing this MLB offseason.
Here are three ideal free agent destinations for Eddie Rosario.
Related: Top MLB free agents and contract predictions
3. Eddie Rosario boosts the Chicago Cubs’ outfield
The Cubs are in this funky retooling-but-not-rebuilding thing that’s difficult to decipher, especially with their mostly muted free agency to date. Nonetheless, Rosario would be a worthwhile investment for their ballclub.
The Cubs could use a left fielder, and Rosario would immediately become their everyday player at the position. He’d give manager David Ross a proven player to start in the outfield grass alongside Jason Heyward and Rafael Ortega. Rosario could be one of a handful of free agent signings for the Cubs this offseason given their sudden payroll flexibility (they traded/aren’t bringing back Javier Baez, Anthony Rizzo and Kris Bryant).
The fascinating part of the Cubs being sellers last season was that their offense barely dropped in production, as the players who became everyday fixtures answered the bell. Chicago has a respectable MLB offense. Now they need more firepower, which a slugger in Rosario provides. He’s just two seasons removed from blasting 32 home runs with the Minnesota Twins.
- Eddie Rosario stats (2021): .259/.305/.435, 14 home runs and 62 RBIs across 379 at-bats
Rosario helps replace some of the consistent production the Cubs traded away at last season’s MLB trade deadline. In the scenario they fall behind in the National League playoff race and/or struggle mightily across the board in 2022, the Cubs could move Rosario for prospects, adding more depth to their minor-league ranks.
All that said, the Cubs may refrain from signing Rosario, preferring to give at-bats to developing youngsters and spending money in blockbuster fashion, as opposed to short-term deals.
2. Eddie Rosario gives the Washington Nationals a lift
The Nationals have a lot of question marks in the field, one of them being who’s the starting left fielder next season? Rosario fits the bill for them in a handful of ways.
The Nationals still had a functioning offense in the aftermath of their severe summer selling spree (Max Scherzer, Trea Turner, Kyle Schwarber and others). That said, they need more offense to be a top-level unit once again. Signing Rosario is a step in the right direction for the Nationals. He’d be a veteran complement to an overall young offense while serving as a player who would clear the bases in the middle-third of the batting order.
Furthermore, he’d balance out manager Dave Martinez’ offense when it concerns the number of left and right-handed hitters that start. If Washington can get its offense to be a top-10 unit, it allows their short-term outlook to come down to the progress of young starters like Josiah Gray and Cade Cavalli.
- Eddie Rosario contract prediction: two-year, $23 million deal
In the short term, Rosario would form a plausible offensive outfield alongside Juan Soto and Lane Thomas; that’s a part of their roster that the Nationals could boast about. Plus, like the Cubs, if the Nationals are a last-place team at the midseason mark, they can move Rosario to a contender for more prospects.
What could ultimately prevent the Nationals and Rosario from joining forces, however, is the veteran outfielder preferring to play for a contender and the team wanting more versatile players.
1. Eddie Rosario fills a void for the Philadelphia Phillies
There are few teams more desperate to make the playoffs than the Phillies, who have missed the Fall festivities for 10 consecutive seasons. They need multiple outfielders, Rosario fills a void and gives them a better chance at getting over the playoff hump.
With Andrew McCutchen and Odubel Herrera on the open market, the Phillies need starting outfielders. Adding a player in his prime like Rosario, 30, is ideal for their playoff aspirations. This is a team with a veteran core that can do damage. Rosario adds to the collective threat that they pose at the plate.
He provides another considerable left-handed hitting threat alongside Bryce Harper, is around the same age as the team’s nucleus and is an upgrade over McCutchen in left. Plus, maybe the Phillies add Rosario on a short-term deal and still retain one or both of McCutchen and Herrera?
One way or another, the Phillies have to operate like a team with playoff intentions this offseason. Yes, that comes with the Braves just winning the World Series and the New York Mets signing Max Scherzer. Philly has a talented and capable lineup and starting rotation. Their offseason priority is filling holes and in doing so becoming a well-oiled machine.
While a bit underwhelming in the field, Rosario is precisely the type of player the Phillies should be targeting, that being a player who rakes and further boosts their offensive identity. Their best bet is going all in on becoming an offensive juggernaut.