• 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. Ozziedavisfan's Avatar
      Ozziedavisfan -
      I read the article and the first thing that poped into my head was , not just no but hell no. First of, dozier is probably be trade bait after 2014 if he has another decent season. For the simple reason a. Rosario is younger than he is b. is going to be a better hitter c. is probably as good defensively.
    1. jay's Avatar
      jay -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ozziedavisfan View Post
      b. is going to be a better hitter c. is probably as good defensively.
      Those are some big assumptions, but we can hope they come true.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      I'm in the trade Dozier over Rosario camp. He's basically found money, he went from zero trade value to pretty solid value in the space of about 40 games. As noted by others, he's looking legit though the power might be a mirage. But really, if the power isn't legit what do we have? Even with the 17 HR he's only a .735 OPS and .311 OBP.

      I think the last couple weeks of the season he should play some at SS to see if it is viable, if that isn't an option however, perhaps the Twins could finally trade a guy when he's at his peak value.
    1. jmlease1's Avatar
      jmlease1 -
      I think it's something that will have to be considered, but it's a good problem to have. I agree that it's not something that should be pursued seriously this offseason, but the Twins have to be prepared for an offer that would blow you away. I think it's more likely other teams will try and make low-ball offers that should be laughed at!

      Dozier has been a real bright spot this season. The defense has been excellent and the power a really nice bonus. If he makes it happen another season (and maybe brings the BA up another 20 pts?) he's a really nice asset in the middle INF. It lets the team be patient with Rosario, which is a good thing for a player who changed positions like he did.

      It could be a very interesting question of which one becomes the trade chip: Rosario or Dozier. Rosario could bring an MLB-ready power arm, and if it's a pitcher about to hit free agency who the Twins could lock up long-term to head up the rotation...wouldn't you have to do it (assuming the extension was part of the package)? Alternatively, Dozier could bring a Ben Revere/Denard Span type of haul (or more).

      It's a good problem to have. I think with the Twins philosophy they're more likely to keep Rosario and look to more Dozier if/when he starts to get more expensive and try to get that type of prospect haul. It worked incredibly well dealing from strength with AJ, and while Hicks struggled out the gate, overall I think it's been a reasonable move with dealing Span & Revere.
    1. Danchat's Avatar
      Danchat -
      I would agree with the others and say it's too early, but if Dozier and Rosario continue the way they're going, we might have to trade Rosario. We have enough young guns coming up and we NEED starting pitching. It has to be a good deal for Rosario, because he is gonna be really good. Borderline top 10 2B in my opinion.
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Quote Originally Posted by stringer bell View Post
      If, and I repeat if, one of Dozier/Rosario is traded, I would opt for Rosario. I think that since he is younger, his value would be higher. If Dozier's power is legit, I am not sure Eddie will produce those numbers any time soon. Finally, Dozier could regress on offense, but the defense is legit and it is between good and elite in his first year at the position. Of all the facets of both players' games, Dozier's defense at second base is the one thing we can be most sure of going forward. From a player control point of view, Dozier would be one or two years ahead of Sano, Buxton, Arcia and it is probably good to stagger the guys who will cost money in arbitration.
      I think this makes a lot of sense. I'd also note that it looks to me that RH pull power bats are going to be a lot more successful at Target Field. LH bats won't be.

      But I also think that Rosario's value isn't that great right now. A good team needing a 2nd baseman right now isn't going to want to trade for a AA one (Dozier would make sense and maybe we move him at next years deadline if Rosario is doing well in AAA). A bad team needing a 2nd baseman won't want to give up a prospect. So I think Rosario would get us back a mediocre vet - sort of the opposite side of the Rollins and Buchanon trades. Plus Rosario's a nice complementary prospect but he's not an elite one. Next year he might crack BA's top 100 but he's probably in the 75 range.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      So if you wait, and one or both struggle, what is their trade value then?

      And, Rosario is being way under valued on this thread, he's a top 50 prospect in all the game, maybe higher. The way teams value high upside, cheap players right now, he's worth more than some are saying here, imo.

      There was a good point on the TB/KC trade, that trade may have distorted things for a short term.
    1. Nick Nelson's Avatar
      Nick Nelson -
      All these "wait another year" responses seem to overlook a (not unlikely) possible scenario: What if Rosario struggles in Triple-A next year and Dozier regresses big-time in the majors? Then we're all looking back at how the Twins failed once again to strike when the iron was hot.

      I understand that it's not ideal to move Rosario, knowing that he may turn out to be a great player and Dozier may turn back into a pumpkin, but when you're desperate to add pitching risks need to be taken. The Twins can live with substandard production at second base; they can't continue to live with a completely hopeless starting rotation.

      I also would strongly disagree with the notion that Dozier has more trade value than Rosario at this point. Rosario is an above-average hitter in Double-A at age 21, whereas Dozier was a non-prospect who didn't become a full-timer in the majors until 26 and has a .684 career OPS. Other teams would likely be just as wary of a step backwards as we are.
    1. Brandon's Avatar
      Brandon -
      You rarely see teams trade prospects for prospects. so if you plan on trading any of them we would be better served waiting till our core is up and we are ready to trade for some teams pitchers that is looking to rebuild, and in that case they will want more if we are getting the pitcher we want.
    1. ericchri's Avatar
      ericchri -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
      All these "wait another year" responses seem to overlook a (not unlikely) possible scenario: What if Rosario struggles in Triple-A next year and Dozier regresses big-time in the majors? Then we're all looking back at how the Twins failed once again to strike when the iron was hot.
      I'm also a little puzzled by all the "wait" comments. We desperately need good starting pitching of any kind right now, so if a deal is available, you have to take it. That doesn't mean trading Rosario (or Dozier) for junk, but if something really good is available, go get it. Good starting pitching gets us better sooner and for longer than a good starting 2B does.
    1. Winston Smith's Avatar
      Winston Smith -
      "All these "wait another year" responses seem to overlook a (not unlikely) possible scenario: What if Rosario struggles in Triple-A next year and Dozier regresses big-time in the majors? Then we're all looking back at how the Twins failed once again to strike when the iron was hot."


      If that happens then we have the same black hole again, and the likely scenario that who we trade for also struggles. It would seem like re-trying Dozier at short makes sense, if only in spring training. If Rosario is ready and Dozier can't make it at short Rosario is likely a better option than Hermann or Parmelee in the of.
      We need good position players, at this point we have few at "the major league level". However, I understand we need good starting pitching but would any team trade a top pitching prospect for either of these guys right now? They might next July.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
      All these "wait another year" responses seem to overlook a (not unlikely) possible scenario: What if Rosario struggles in Triple-A next year and Dozier regresses big-time in the majors? Then we're all looking back at how the Twins failed once again to strike when the iron was hot.
      And that's a value judgment, which has to be made with every player. Personally, I think Rosario will gain value. He's still not a lock at second but everything coming from the team (and scouts) suggest that he's closer to becoming a MLB-calibre defensive second basemen with every passing month.

      That's really the sticking point. His bat should be fine and another year probably won't change much there... But if teams can pencil him into a middle infield spot without hesitation about having to transfer that bat to a corner outfield spot down the road (where it suddenly becomes average at best), his value will reach its true peak.

      Of course, Eddie could also walk in front of a freight train next June. Thems the breaks.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by Ozziedavisfan View Post
      a. Rosario is younger than he is
      Fair enough.

      Quote Originally Posted by Ozziedavisfan View Post
      b. is going to be a better hitter
      Brian Dozier has an OPS of .735. Guaranteeing that Rosario is going to be a better hitter can't be done without a considerable amount of finger-crossing and well-wishing.

      Quote Originally Posted by Ozziedavisfan View Post
      c. is probably as good defensively.
      No. He probably won't ever be as good as Dozier has shown this season. It's always possible but, again, finger-crossing.
    1. diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
      diehardtwinsfan -
      Quote Originally Posted by ericchri View Post
      I'm also a little puzzled by all the "wait" comments. We desperately need good starting pitching of any kind right now, so if a deal is available, you have to take it. That doesn't mean trading Rosario (or Dozier) for junk, but if something really good is available, go get it. Good starting pitching gets us better sooner and for longer than a good starting 2B does.
      The wait comments are here because Dozier isn't all that valueable right now, and Rosario's value is more likely to increase than it is to decrease. I get that Rosario has value, and if someone came and offered an Alex Meyer type pitcher for him, I think TR would trade him in a heartbeat, but I doubt that offer comes along as teams are wary of trading elite SP, and I am not sure I'd be comfortable getting a Berrios type player for him. Dozier's value is still going to be low, much like Plouffe last season, he's not going to be coveted based on a few months of excellent play, and even though I think there's more reason for hope with him than what there was for Trevor, GMs aren't going to offer much for him. Not this year at least. I get that there's risk that both will implode and be worthless, but speaking from an odds standpoint, at least one will likely work out and there's a better chance that they both do at this point. An attempt to "sell high" might be premature, and you run the risk of trading the wrong one as well. Not sure this makes sense this offseason unless someone comes in and blows you away.

      As such, this is definitely a "problem" for next year. My personal opinion is that Dozier is likely a better SS option than Florimon or Santana if this improvement is sustainable. I do think the 15-20 HR power is legit (take a look at his 2011 power in AA, he has some pop). The Twins need an above average SS almost as bad as they need pitching. Given their needs, my plan would be to shift Dozier back to SS before I traded either one of them. That could change if someone dangled a Meyer/Cole/Bradley/Tallison type prospect for one of them, but I don't think that would happen this year, and even if Rosario/Dozier's value rises, I'm not sure you'd get that next year. And that is what it would take for me trade them.
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      So if you wait, and one or both struggle, what is their trade value then?

      And, Rosario is being way under valued on this thread, he's a top 50 prospect in all the game, maybe higher. The way teams value high upside, cheap players right now, he's worth more than some are saying here, imo.

      There was a good point on the TB/KC trade, that trade may have distorted things for a short term.
      If they both struggle, their trade value will go down. If they both do well, it'll go up. But if you think we should trade someone b/c you're worried their value will go down, then I think it's fair to say the other side will think the same thing and they aren't that valuable.

      I don't think I've seen any lists where Rosario is a top 50 guy. BA, Sickels and Mayo all did mid season re-rankings and he wasn't top 50 on any of them. He hit pretty well in AA for a bit but had a bad finish. I think he'll be in the 75 range but some will have him higher.
    1. markos's Avatar
      markos -
      Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
      I don't think I've seen any lists where Rosario is a top 50 guy. BA, Sickels and Mayo all did mid season re-rankings and he wasn't top 50 on any of them. He hit pretty well in AA for a bit but had a bad finish. I think he'll be in the 75 range but some will have him higher.
      Keith Law: #41
      John Sickels: #56
      Baseball Prospectus: honorable mention (i.e. top-75)
      Baseball America: unmentioned
      Fangraphs: unmentioned

      I agree with you. He is probably a consensus top-75 guy, not top-50.
    1. Nick Nelson's Avatar
      Nick Nelson -
      Lots of people suggesting that the Twins should try moving Dozier back to SS. If they had any thoughts of doing so, don't you think he might have played at least one single inning there this year? I don't see it.
    1. Siehbiscuit's Avatar
      Siehbiscuit -
      Middle infield in general is a trouble some spot in this organization. If not for FREAKS like Buxton and Sano, Meyer (mid-20's to mid30's range) and Rosario (40's) would likely be the Twins top two prospects in the organization. These guys are building blocks. Span and Revere were traded because they were cheap and MLB ready. Rosario is not. Even if we could get a prospect like May again, is getting rid of a top 50 prospect worth it for another prospect? Dozier may have peaked in value, but at the same time he is only entering his prime right now and all the years are under team control. Both are part of the solution IMO. WORST CASE move Dozier as his value is at high level and he could fetch a High A - AA type of fireballer talent. Give Rosario 5 years and he can match or exceed Dozier's age 26 season.

      I vote for keep both long term and move Dozier back to SS.
    1. twinsnorth49's Avatar
      twinsnorth49 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Nick Nelson View Post
      Lots of people suggesting that the Twins should try moving Dozier back to SS. If they had any thoughts of doing so, don't you think he might have played at least one single inning there this year? I don't see it.
      Maybe but it's not like he's unfamiliar with the position. If that's not the case then it's interesting to think about what the hell the plan is for Rosario in a couple of years if they think Dozier can stick at 2nd.
    1. Siehbiscuit's Avatar
      Siehbiscuit -
      Middle infield in general is a trouble some spot in this organization. If not for FREAKS like Buxton and Sano, Meyer (mid-20's to mid30's range) and Rosario (40's) would likely be the Twins top two prospects in the organization. These guys are building blocks. Span and Revere were traded because they were cheap and MLB ready. Rosario is not. Even if we could get a prospect like May again, is getting rid of a top 50 prospect worth it for another prospect? Dozier may have peaked in value, but at the same time he is only entering his prime right now and all the years are under team control. Both are part of the solution IMO. WORST CASE move Dozier as his value is at high level and he could fetch a High A - AA type of fireballer talent. Give Rosario 5 years and he can match or exceed Dozier's age 26 season.

      I vote for keep both long term and move Dozier back to SS.
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