• Eddie Rosario as a Trade Chip

    Will the Twins trade top prospect Eddie Rosario?With names like Byron Buxton, Miguel Sano and Alex Meyer stealing the headlines, Eddie Rosario tends to get overlooked in the universe of Twins prospects. Rosario didn't appear on the Top 100 prospect lists for MLB.com nor Baseball America prior to this season despite impressive production in both 2011 and 2012, but he figures to find his way onto everyone's lists now after crushing in Ft. Myers during the first half and finishing with a solid showing in New Britain as a 21-year-old.

    It's fairly rare for a kid of Rosario's age to hold his own in Double-A, and by all accounts the athletic Puerto Rican did so while demonstrating noticeable skill at his new defensive home. Rosario transitioned from center field to second base in 2012 as the Twins sought to shift some of their organizational strength to the infield, and as 1500 ESPN's Brandon Warne relays, the organization believes that Rosario now plays like someone "you'd never believe wasn't a natural second baseman."

    Of course, there's a problem here. While Rosario is reportedly adapting very well to second, the Twins have seen Brian Dozier lock down that position in the majors this year. Dozier has produced the best power-hitting season for a second baseman in franchise history, and his defense has been somewhere between good and elite. The organization liked Dozier plenty even before this breakout, so it seems safe to say that the 26-year-old isn't going anywhere soon.

    But what does that mean for Rosario? He could conceivably be moved back to the outfield, but Warne's article also noted that a scout suggested the prospect wasn't a good outfielder. Besides, Rosario doesn't have the offensive profile to stand out at a corner spot (center field, of course, is reserved for Byron Buxton).

    Rosario won't necessarily be ready for the majors next year, but he finished this season with a quality .742 OPS in Double-A (league average was .717) and he's now headed to the Arizona Fall League, where a strong performance could continue to raise his stock.

    And maybe that's exactly what the Twins are counting on.

    It is well known that the Twins are deep on position player prospects and relatively thin on pitchers, especially in the high levels. Swapping minor-league bats for arms has always been a logical play, but Buxton and Sano aren't going anywhere, leaving Rosario as the most highly regarded and expendable trade chip in the system.

    Losing an exciting talent like Rosario, who turns 22 in two weeks, would certainly hurt, but sacrifices need to be made in Minnesota's ongoing quest for starting pitchers with upside. And it's easy to see other clubs coveting him, perhaps even more so than Denard Span and Ben Revere a year ago. If Rosario's defense is truly coming along as well as reports suggest, his offensive upside would be tantalizing at a position where impact bats are difficult to come by.

    What do you think? Would you part with Rosario in return for an impact arm?
    This article was originally published in blog: Eddie Rosario as a Trade Chip started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 178 Comments
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      I like that you open the discussion with really the top prospect for any possible trade consideration. That is good.

      Now, I don't want to trade Rosario AT ALL. But I like that you wrote this article.

      Rosario and Dozier = a nice problem, but somewhat easily remedied.

      Rosario and Dozier together somehow (SS reps IMMEDIATELY for Dozier by the way) makes for a grade addition to Buxton-Mauer-Sano-Arcia.

      I would rather consider Danny Santana and Travis Harrison together as trade bait. Only with real falters above will these two emerge as Twins. Beresford and Dalton Hicks might really just be kinda better, and at least better in the roles that they could fill down the road for the Twins.

      I have to wonder what the market would be for a combo of Santana, Harrison, and say Swarzak would be. Or sub Doumit in for Swarzak.
    1. howieramone's Avatar
      howieramone -
      I would not put Rosario on our untouchable list. If we can find a major league ready starting pitcher who will make it to Target Field in 2014 I would pull the trigger. It takes quality to get quality. If we can trade Rosario to help fill the black hole, I'd do it in a heartbeat.
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      My goodness this is premature

      Don't you think we should see if Dozier is for real before trading away a cheaper, younger replacement?

      Furthermore, this club does not have many Corner OF prospects in the upper minors.
      Willingham will not be around in 2015, Parmelee has not been too productive. Rosario is an athletic Leftie who can play any position in the OF and 2B. He is 22 years old and hit 284/ .330 / 412 in AA. If Ryan was blown away by an offer? Sure. But to shop him would be nuts.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Uh, again. Maybe Santana and Harrison?
    1. pierre75275's Avatar
      pierre75275 -
      I would trade him. For one pitcher. Some one who grades out between meyer and gibson and currently pitches in AA or AAA. Somebody like archie bradly or dylan bundy or tj walker (seattle).
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      Without knowing all of the details of any trade how can you assess it? I would think that a trade of Dozier would fetch more than Rosario--especially in a multi-player deal.
    1. howieramone's Avatar
      howieramone -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      Uh, again. Maybe Santana and Harrison?
      Shane, as a rule of thumb, whoever gets the best player wins. Neither of those two will be anywhere close to the starting pitcher we need. If we could add one of those two to The Hammer or Doumit deals I think that might work. I believe we will have an excess of relief pitchers in the near future. I could see adding one of those two in a Fien or Burton trade for a starting pitching prospect.
    1. iastfan112's Avatar
      iastfan112 -
      Love Dozier have been an advocate going back to the BYTO days but I think it's probably still too premature to trade Rosario, barring the Twins getting some absolutely great return. Dozier is hardly proven at this point. Prospect for prospect trading is pretty unusual so that's a negative as well.

      I'm in the move Dozier back to SS camp, it didn't seem that Dozier was physically incapable of handling SS last year but instead it was more on the mental side of things. I'd also suggest that if such a move was not possible Dozier might be the better guy to trade, albeit sometime next season. Most contenders would favor Dozier's track record of success(assuming it continues next year) over the relative uncertainty of Rosario as an unproven prospect. For the Twins this trade isn't terrible either as the last years of Dozier's arbitration will be when he's north of 30 and likely in the beginning of his decline while only getting more expensive.
    1. jimbo92107's Avatar
      jimbo92107 -
      A bit premature. A year from now we'll have a better idea if Meyer, Gibson and May are improving, if some of our "contact" pitchers are slightly better than average, if Dozier's improvements stick, if Hicks learns how to bat over .220, etc. Only then will it be interesting to speculate on trading guys like Rosario for pitching.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by howieramone View Post
      Shane, as a rule of thumb, whoever gets the best player wins. Neither of those two will be anywhere close to the starting pitcher we need. If we could add one of those two to The Hammer or Doumit deals I think that might work. I believe we will have an excess of relief pitchers in the near future. I could see adding one of those two in a Fien or Burton trade for a starting pitching prospect.
      Hard to fathom that there is even one club in all of baseball that would foolishly give up a legitimate starting prospect for any combination of Hammer/Doumit and Fien/Burton and Santana/Harrison. You could maybe get a deal with these players involved for a salary relief deal from a club with an overpayed veteran starter who is a bounceback possibility.

      And that misses the point of the thread, which is what to do with the one valuable prospect chip that is considered somewhat expendable by the OP>>>
      Do you try to trade for Rosario for a similar-level (AA/AAA) high-potential, but unproven, prospect SP? Or try to get an established ace by trading Rosario in a package to someone like the Rays (Shields to KC), who are already actively shopping Price? In the case of Price, like Shields to KC, the Twins would only get his services guaranteed for 2 years, and they would be hard-pressed to come up with the other necessary pieces for the Rays to consider the trade (the Twins can't trade Sano and Buxton in this type of 2-year player rental scenario!). I doubt that throwing in Arcia and Plouffe (Rays may need a First Baseman if they don't re-sign Loney) would interest them. You would probably have to package Meyer and Rosario in some multi-player deal to get it done- and still provide some salary relief to the Rays (ala Wade Davis in the Shields deal).
    1. Larsbars08's Avatar
      Larsbars08 -
      Dozier has had a great year, but his lefty/righty splits are pretty drastic. I'm worried that we'll lose a lot of his value if his triple slash numbers against lefties aren't quite as impressive in the next year or two. I'm not sure if I'm ready to trust Dozier as the occasional offensive force he's been this year.

      Rosario has been a much better performer in the minors at a much younger age than Dozier was, with the exception Dozier's breakout year at age 24. Point being, that Rosario has a much higher offensive ceiling than Dozier does, and it feels way too premature to speculate on a trade, when we can't be sure that Dozier will sustain his numbers. The fact that Dozier has been very good this year, allows the Twins to be patient with Rosario. He'll be 22 and still very much a prospect next year. He can spend much of the year at AAA next year, and looks to be a likely September call-up next year.

      If we really need to trade someone, why not dangle Dozier when Rosario is getting ready. Dozier probably would net a nice return, and he's also a "proven" commodity, compared to Rosario. Plus, minor-leaguers being swapped for other minor-leaguers is pretty rare.
    1. iastfan112's Avatar
      iastfan112 -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      Hard to fathom that there is even one club in all of baseball that would foolishly give up a legitimate starting prospect for any combination of Hammer/Doumit and Fien/Burton and Santana/Harrison. You could maybe get a deal with these players involved for a salary relief deal from a club with an overpayed veteran starter who is a bounceback possibility.
      This offseason I agree. If Willingham bounces back next year a combo of Willingham + Burton and strikeout reliever could net a nice prospect. Carlos Beltran alone netted a prospect ranked somewhere in the 40's. Admittedly Willingham isn't quite as appealing but the combination probably could, under the right conditions net a prospect close to or in the late part of the top 100.
    1. Trevor0333's Avatar
      Trevor0333 -
      Find a team needing major league ready SS & 2B, send Florimon & Dozier to a 3rd team as part of a 3 way trade to get prospects the Rangers desire in return for Jurickson Profar. Obviously The Twins would likely have to add another prospect as well Like Edy or Gonsalves types.

      Sano/Profar/Rosario the infield is loaded for 10 years.
    1. howieramone's Avatar
      howieramone -
      Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
      Hard to fathom that there is even one club in all of baseball that would foolishly give up a legitimate starting prospect for any combination of Hammer/Doumit and Fien/Burton and Santana/Harrison. You could maybe get a deal with these players involved for a salary relief deal from a club with an overpayed veteran starter who is a bounceback possibility.

      And that misses the point of the thread, which is what to do with the one valuable prospect chip that is considered somewhat expendable by the OP>>>
      Do you try to trade for Rosario for a similar-level (AA/AAA) high-potential, but unproven, prospect SP? Or try to get an established ace by trading Rosario in a package to someone like the Rays (Shields to KC), who are already actively shopping Price? In the case of Price, like Shields to KC, the Twins would only get his services guaranteed for 2 years, and they would be hard-pressed to come up with the other necessary pieces for the Rays to consider the trade (the Twins can't trade Sano and Buxton in this type of 2-year player rental scenario!). I doubt that throwing in Arcia and Plouffe (Rays may need a First Baseman if they don't re-sign Loney) would interest them. You would probably have to package Meyer and Rosario in some multi-player deal to get it done- and still provide some salary relief to the Rays (ala Wade Davis in the Shields deal).
      We got a legitimate starting pitching prospect for Butera.
    1. raindog's Avatar
      raindog -
      I'm agree with those saying it's too early to worry about this "problem". Dozier's bat may not hold up next year, Rosario could falter, and I don't think the Twins are exactly stacked with corner outfielders. I could definitely see Rosario shifting to the outfield, for a little while at least.

      But since we're talking about it, I'd rather trade Dozier if the time comes. If Rosario is banging on the door next year, I'll take his higher upside and four extra years of youth. I do not think Dozier is a SS.
    1. Zephrin's Avatar
      Zephrin -
      Quote Originally Posted by Larsbars08 View Post
      If we really need to trade someone, why not dangle Dozier when Rosario is getting ready. Dozier probably would net a nice return, and he's also a "proven" commodity, compared to Rosario. Plus, minor-leaguers being swapped for other minor-leaguers is pretty rare.
      This is the way I would go, too, unless Dozier can switch back to SS. Hearken back to 2003, where we had a very solid catcher in A.J., but a clearly superior option developing in Mauer. We got a very nice haul for A.J. as I recall. Similar situation with Morneau/Dougie.

      Also, teams are probably willing to give up a solid pitching prospect for Dozier than any of the other MLB names I've seen in comments to this point - Doumit, Burton and the like.
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      I know sacrifices will have to be made....I'd just like it not to be the first legit middle infield prospect since Knoblauch. At least not until we're 100% sure Dozier and Rosario can't play SS/2B together.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      I love the idea but think it's premature for a few reasons:

      1. I don't think Rosario's value has peaked. Teams will still be uncertain whether he's a second baseman and while he's young at AA, he didn't exactly light up the league with his bat. I think another go at AA and more time at second will see his value continue to rise.

      2. I'm pretty sold on Dozier at this point but even I admit that there's a chance he's having a freakish season that cannot be repeated. I really don't think that's the case and the stats back me up but I still believe it's a mistake to trade away a middle infielder before knowing you have a solution at second base moving forward.
    1. Steve Penz's Avatar
      Steve Penz -
      This is a great idea but too early. This will be an awesome topic in June 2014.
    1. big dog's Avatar
      big dog -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      Don't you think we should see if Dozier is for real before trading away a cheaper, younger replacement?
      Alternatively, maybe we should see if Rosario is for real before we trade Dozier. But if we want to improve pitching, a trade would really help. If we trade Dozier, we are further committing to Mauer and a bunch of 24-25-yr-olds. I'm not so sure about that plan.
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