Guardians shortstop/outfielder Amed Rosario will avoid arbitration this year, agreeing to a $4.95 million deal for 2022.
While the final tally of Cleveland’s 2022 payroll is yet to be determined, it’s going to be criminally low no matter what.
Right now, the only thing giving it any sort of weight is the fact that seven players are eligible for arbitration, including shortstop Amed Rosario, who has now avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $4.95 million contract for this season (the original estimate was right around $5 million).
Rosario hit .282/.321/.409 with 11 home runs, 25 doubles, 57 RBIs, 13 stolen bases and a 99 wRC+ in his first season with the Guardians, coming over as part of the Francisco Lindor trade with the Mets.
Though Rosario had a fine 2021 season, he remains somewhat of a man without a position. It seemed like he was destined to be the team’s everyday shortstop, though manager Terry Francona recently threw a wrench in that plan by saying Rosario would split time in left field as well. That could certainly change if the Guardians bring an outfielder in from outside the organization, but that’s looking less and less likely by the day.
Still, Rosario’s bat is one the Guardians desperately need in their lineup. He’s a free-swinger, which means he’s never going to have an elite on-base percentage, and he’ll never blow you away with his power, but he knows how to put the ball in play, and that’s really all Cleveland needs at this point, especially for a guy hitting ahead of the big names like José Ramírez and Franmil Reyes.