Twins May Regret Letting Rosario Walk
The Minnesota Twins have decided Eddie Rosario is not worth the $10 million he might be awarded in salary arbitration and elected to not offer him a contract for the 2021 season.
The Twins will tell you that they tried to trade Rosario to avoid having him walk away for nothing at all, but I don't know if I believe it. Here are some of the players teams were able to get something for during the 2020 season:
-The Tigers were able to trade outfielder Cameron Maybin, who posted a -0.3 Wins Above Replacement last season to the Cubs for 25 year old AAA infielder Zack Short.
-The Rangers were able to get a player from the Mets for 34-year-old third baseman Todd Frazier, who posted a -0.1 WAR.
-Heck, the Orioles were even able to extract a player from Atlanta for Tommy Freakin' Milone, who had a 1-4 record and 6.69 ERA.
I find it hard to believe that the Twins could get literally NOTHING for Rosario last season. The real problem was that they didn't want to call up one of their prospects too soon and start the clock on having to pay them.
They instead did what the Twins always do, keep a player around until they cost actual money, then let them walk. They have been doing this since the beginning of time.
Unless you are a Max Kepler or Jorge Polanco, who took contract extensions for a discount in exchange for long-term security, this is your fate as a Minnesota Twin.
There are plenty of posts online about the analytics and why Rosario "isn't worth" the money, but they understate the importance of intangibles and the uncertainty of whoever replaces him in the heart of the lineup.
Sure, Alex Kiriloff looks like a great prospect on paper. But there is no guarantee that he isn't the next Chris Parmelee, who put up very similar numbers to Kiriloff in the minor leagues.
What's the plan if Kiriloff isn't ready after not playing a single game in the minors last season? Are we going to trot Jake Cave out there for 120 games? LaMonte Wade? I thought this was a team with World Series aspirations?
In the end, the numbers might indeed say that Eddie Rosario is "not worth" $10 million next season (even though the Twins determined that Marwin Gonzalez was worth $10.5 each of the last two seasons), but there is more to baseball than numbers.