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Amed Rosario to sign with Rays: AL East contenders add to infield mix with one-year, $1.5M deal, per report

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Utility man Amed Rosario has signed with Tampa Bay Rays for one year and $1.5 million, reports ESPN. He figures to be part of the club’s shortstop mix while Wander Franco is on administrative leave. José Caballero and Taylor Walls will factor into the shortstop situation as well.

In 142 games last year (94 for the Guardians, 48 for the Dodgers), Rosario hit .263/.305/.378 (89 OPS+) with 25 doubles, eight triples, six homers, 58 RBI, 70 runs, 15 stolen bases and 0.4 WAR. Once a top-10 MLB prospect when he was in the Mets organization, Rosario was sent to Cleveland in the Francisco Lindor deal before the 2021 season. He’s flashed some upside and had a nice 4.2-WAR season in 2022 with Cleveland, but quickly fell out of favor. 

The high strikeout totals teamed with the lack of power growth have prevented Rosario from reaching his high ceiling, but, again, we’ve seen flashes of his ability at the big-league level. He was the everyday shortstop for a division winner in 2022 while hitting .283 with 26 doubles, nine triples, 11 homers and 18 steals. 

In addition to shortstop, Rosario has also played second base, center field and a little left field in the bigs. 

Something worth noting: Rosario’s splits. He’s a career .298/.339/.467 hitter against left-handers while having slashed .263/.296/.374 against righties, meaning he’d work well as the right-handed side of a platoon. 

We ranked Rosario as the 49th best free agent this offseason.

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