The only weird thing is the return coming back in such a deal.
Cleveland is sending Rosario to the Atlanta Braves in exchange for Pablo Sandoval.
That's a salary dump for Cleveland… but they couldn't even find a taker for Rosario's full remaining salary (about $2.7M), as he'll be sidelined another few weeks. The Rosario signing – one year, $8M – was a complete bust for CLE, as he produced a .685 OPS w/ 7 HR in 78 games.
— Zack Meisel (@ZackMeisel) July 30, 2021
This is certainly not what fans expected in return for Rosario, with the hope being at least one prospect.
That is a curious decision.
Confused for both teams. After the year the Braves have had, the panda dugout hugs after homers were one of the only reasons left to watch. And why would you want Pablo Sandoval on your team if you’re Cleveland? https://t.co/Y8lA2W3Xof
— Jared Carrabis (@Jared_Carrabis) July 30, 2021
What Is His Role?
Sandoval is turning 35 years old in August and is on a cheap, expiring deal.
He has no real role on the Indians in 2021 as the organization wants younger players to get time.
Ultimately, this is an example of the Braves wanting to clear a roster spot and the Indians doing them a favor in exchange for paying some of Rosario’s salary.
So the Indians maybe save a million dollars and now have to figure out what to do with Sandoval.
The former San Francisco Giants star has not been an All-Star since 2012 and is a negative-WAR player this year in limited action with the Braves.
Being on a National League team worked because he could pinch-hit for pitchers.
The Indians need to just cut him and accept the savings in the Rosario move.
But they should print some Sandoval jerseys for fans to buy as a collector’s item.
A Terrible Tenure
The Rosario experiment was a dud, injuries aside.
He did not hold up his end of the bargain.
Rosario appeared in 78 games this season and slashed .254/.296/.389 with only seven home runs.
The Indians inked him to a deal worth $8 million, so obviously expectations were higher.
The outfielder was an obvious trade target for months and the challenge was finding someone to pay him.
The Braves are paying some of the remaining salary, so that was clearly the best deal out there.
Moving the veteran actually allows the Indians to figure out some other lingering questions on the roster.
And what about top prospect Nolan Jones?
Freeing up left field can allow him to finally move up and get some time in the lineup.
What we can say is that Sandoval holding a spot over someone like Jones would be incredibly confusing and out of character for this organization.