The Rockies have defeated catcher Wilin Rosario in the sides’ recent arbitration hearing, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports on Twitter. Rosario will, accordingly, take home $2.8MM rather than his filing figure of $3.3MM.
Colorado may have been able to sway the panel by pointing out Rosario’s defensive shortcomings and relatively poor 2014, because it drove the price down a fair sight shy of the $3.6MM that MLBTR/Matt Swartz had projected. Rosario has consistently received rather poor defensive marks (see, e.g., Baseball Prospectus, Fangraphs), and pitch framing metrics have not been kind (Baseball Prospectus; Stat Corner). That put an even less promising spin on Rosario’s below-average .267/.305/.435 slash, which was good only for a park-adjusted 86 wRC+.
Of course that kind of offensive production is still not bad at all for a catcher. And Rosario, who battled injuries last year, has shown the ability to do much more. Still just 25, Rosario slashed .282/.314/.507 and hit 49 total home runs over just 892 plate appearances from 2012-13.
In addition to saving half a million dollars against the alternative scenario in the binary arbitration decision, Colorado gets the added benefit of holding down Rosario’s earnings for the following two years of eligibility. The slugger will need to earn his playing time this year, though he may be afforded additional turns at bat by slotting in at first base or even the corner outfield.