Guardians infielder Amed Rosario is having the best season of his six-season career.
He’s slashing .291/.327/.403 with 54 strikeouts against 99 hits.
Not only is Rosario having a career year by his standards, but against his Guardians teammates, Rosario is playing exceptionally well.
One might think Rosario, who is just 26, would be in Cleveland’s long-term plans.
In a recent “What I’m Hearing” roundup, cleveland.com’s Terry Pluto explained that Rosario could be on the move:
“Amed Rosario could be traded at the deadline. Andres Gimenez is the shortstop of the future, a spot Rosario now plays. I like Rosario for his hustle and positive attitude. Since coming to Cleveland in the Francisco Lindor deal, he’s a .279 hitter (.717 OPS). He reminds me of Rajai Davis, who was more valuable to the team than his overall stats. Energy counts for something. I wonder if Rosario could become a ‘super utility’ player in 2023.”
It’s mildly surprising to hear that Rosario could be the next to leave Cleveland.
After all, Rosario’s .291 average is second-best on the team, trailing Andrés Giménez’s .296.
That’s right, Rosario is batting better than José Ramirez, Steven Kwan, and Josh Naylor.
And Pluto’s point about Rosario’s future positioning is an interesting one.
So far this season, Giménez has lined up predominately at second, not short.
For all the grief Amed Rosario takes he sure is spraying the ball around.
55 hits since June1st. Thats 2nd most in the AL pic.twitter.com/V03tbT2Atp
— kell (@kellkill1) July 15, 2022
And not only that, but Giménez is fresh off his first All-Star nod (as a starter!) at second.
So it doesn’t necessarily scream that Rosario is occupying Giménez’s slot and delaying him any development.
Perhaps this is more of a situation where Cleveland is trying to sell high on a player.
Rosario is indeed having a career year at the plate, but they also aren’t too far off his career marks.
And there are sure to be teams that could use Rosario’s solid hitting and fielding.
Further, Rosario has some experience playing outfield; perhaps an outfield needy team like the Philadelphia Phillies could be interested in Rosario.
Or the Arizona Diamondbacks, who are apparently in the market for a righty-outfield bat.
Rosario wasn’t the only name on Pluto’s chopping block.
But the second name he listed is probably a familiar one: Franmil Reyes.
Here’s what Pluto had to say about a potential move involving Cleveland’s DH:
“Don’t look for the Guardians to make any big trades for veteran players. In fact, I hear they will be looking to move Franmil Reyes, who has finally started to hit. Since coming off the disabled list, he is batting .255 (.840 OPS) with 4 HR and 10 RBI in 15 games. The Guardians have talked to the big man about getting into better shape to play the outfield, but that hasn’t transpired. At this stage of his career, the 27-year-old Reyes seems content to be a DH.”
Perhaps more important there than anything else is Pluto’s statement about who the Guardians will likely target.
Since I'm tweeting about Andres Gimenez, my report in the 2017 Prospect Digest Handbook about Amed Rosario:
"I still think the Didi Gregorius offensive ceiling holds firm – a bat capable of hitting .280/.320/.440."
Through his first 628 games, he's hitting .274/.310/.404 .
— Joseph Werner (@JoltinJoey) July 19, 2022
It’s been a consistent theme with the team all season and likely won’t slow up at the trade deadline.
While adding a veteran like Wilson Contreras might be nice (and costly), the Guardians simply don’t need to add him to the fold.
Instead, the Guardians can continue doing what they do best: finding the best and brightest young talent to add to an already strong unit.
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