Free-agent catcher/first baseman Wilin Rosario has signed with the Hanwha Eagles of the Korea Baseball Organization, tweets Jee-ho Yoo of Korea’s Yonhap News Agency. The Team One Management client will earn $1.3MM with the Eagles, per Yoo, who notes in a full column that the Eagles have announced the signing. Rosario’s winter league team had previously tweeted that he was expected to sign with a Korean team, though no details as to which team were included at the time.
Rosario, who will turn 27 late next month, saw a significantly reduced role with Colorado in his final year with the team. After belting 49 home runs across his first two full seasons in the league, questions about his glove seemingly cut his role with the Rockies. Rosario batted .277/.311/.484 from 2012-14, but he saw just 242 plate appearances in Colorado last season, nearly all of which came at first base. Rosario caught only two games last year due to perceived defensive deficiencies. While Rosario has thrown out a solid 28 percent of attempted base-stealers against him in his Major League career, he caught just 16 percent in 2014 and rated near the bottom of the league in terms of pitch-framing metrics in 2013 and 2014.
Defensive question marks notwithstanding, it’s still somewhat surprising to see Rosario’s bat land overseas. As a hitter with plenty of pop in his bat and in the midst of his prime-aged years, however, it’s easy enough to envision Rosario thriving in the hitter-friendly KBO. He’ll join former Rockies teammate and fellow Dominican Republic native Esmil Rogers on the Eagles’ roster in Korea.