Wednesday’s 8pm MLB non-tender deadline has passed, and there were a few surprises on the list of players outrighted to free agency. One of the bigger surprises was Eddie Rosario, former Minnesota Twins outfielder. Could Rosario potentially be an outfield target for the New York Yankees?
Rosario can do a little bit of everything
An advantage of signing Rosario would be that he provides a little bit of everything. Rosario is a slightly above average hitter, batting .257 with 13 home runs and 42 RBIs in 2020. His OPS was just shy of .800 while his OPS+ was at 115.
Defensively, Rosario is solid when he’s at his primary position, left-field. He has a career 9 DRS in left, while his DRs in both right and center are negative. His career dWAR is at -1.5, anchored by poor defensive showings in 2017 and 2019.
Additionally, Rosario has a little bit of speed, totaling three stolen bases in 2020 and 39 on his career. His 2020 WAR was just shy of 1.0 while his career WAR sits just below 12.0.
The aging Brett Gardner
Yankees veteran left-fielder Brett Gardner is a free agent this off-season, and there’s a serious possibility that he won’t be back in pinstripes in 2021.
Gardner, 37, saw 2020 be the worst performing season of his career. He bat just .223 with a .747 OPS and a 108 OPS+. Gardner still provides defensive value, but his offense could be enough to turn the Yankees away.
That being said, Rosario could be a solid option to replace Gardner in left. That’s if the Yankees don’t have faith in Clint Frazier.
Frazier had a breakout 2020 season, batting .267 with eight home runs and 26 RBIs. His OPS was over .900 while his OPS+ was nearly 150. Frazier’s defense saw improvements, even being nominated as a Gold Glove award finalist.
Signing Eddie Rosario could help bolster the Yankees outfield. But first, the team needs to decide whether they are ready to give up on Gardner and Frazier.