Cleveland Indians Eddie Rosario deal one of the worst of the trade deadline
It was a short stay for Eddie Rosario in a Cleveland Indians uniform. After inking a one-year deal with Cleveland back on February 4, the Tribe have dealt Rosario to the Atlanta Braves after playing just 78 games for Cleveland. While not all deals are even, in fact most end up not being even at all, this one has a lot of people scratching their heads.
The second deal made by Cleveland at the deadline, the Rosario deal netted just veteran Pablo Sandoval in return. Cleveland is also sending cash considerations with Rosario to Atlanta. While Rosario is set to be a free agent at the end of the season and is currently on the injured list, this deal just simply doesn’t make sense.
When looking at this deal it has to be remembered that Eddie Rosario has had a rough season. He’s batting just .254/.296/.389 with just seven home runs in addition to 15 doubles and 46 RBI. Those numbers are well below his career averages which could be viewed two ways. He either is simply having a down season or he’s poised for a big second half to level out those stats.
From Cleveland’s perspective, moving him does make sense. I will give the club that. He’s on a one-year deal so getting something in return would be the right choice. Given his down season he’s likely to be a low-end free agent, so who’s to say the Cleveland Indians don’t resign him before the calendar flips to 2022. It’s definitely possible.
Where the issue lies with this trade is that it wasn’t truly a trade. It felt more like a gift to the Atlanta Braves. Moving Rosario for any sort of prospect would make sense. Cash in on what you have to get something in return. Cleveland couldn’t even manage to do that with this deal.
The return was Pablo Sandoval. Yes, the “Panda.” The 34-year old veteran who is probably more useful as an emergency reliever than any sort of offensive production or fielder. That’s it. To make matters worse, Cleveland included cash in the agreement.
In the end will the deal save the organization money? Sure. It won’t be a lot, but I guess every dime counts. Now, if you’re the Atlanta Braves this is a great deal. You get a buy-low, very low, player with proven ability. There really isn’t a downside. But we’re not the Atlanta Braves, we’re the Cleveland Indians. And for that reason, this deal is just simply awful.
There’s essentially no value in adding Sandoval, except to save money. This year he is batting just .178/.302/.342 over 69 games with only four home runs and 11 RBI. Don’t be surprised if he never takes the field in a Cleveland uniform. Especially since his positions are well covered.
What it comes down to with this deal is Cleveland gave the Atlanta Braves an outfielder to save money. There’s no other reason to do this and for fans of the Tribe it really shouldn’t be a surprise. From the beginning of this season the plan was to save money and cut payroll. This deal just furthered that mission.
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So, where’s the upside? Is there a positive here? Maybe a hidden motive? Possibly. Keep an open mind the rest of the article here.
Between the Hernandez deal and this one, the Cleveland Indians will save around $4 million the rest of the season. That might not seem like a lot in the grand scheme of things, but it could be building up for something bigger this offseason.
The pieces going out were never part of the big picture. They were both stopgaps to hold the team over until the next wave was ready. That time is coming and it could arrive as soon as next season. Rising prospects will be ready to take over second and the outfield. The other weaknesses are already seeing progression.
What these money saving moves could lead to is one big addition this offseason. Save the money now to spend it later and get this team back on the map. A full season of a healthy rotation would have changed this season’s outlook. Next year will essentially be a redo, but with some better, and younger pieces that will set the foundation for the organization’s future. If you don’t believe us, take it from Jensen Lewis.
“Wait until next year” is a common saying in Cleveland sports and it pains me to say it again, but that’s the only bright side we can find in this deal. This is a move for the future and while it makes zero sense right now, it might come to light down the road.