Former major leaguer Wilin Rosario has spent the past several seasons plying his trade in Asia. Now, he’s seeking a return to the affiliated ranks, according to Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic (Twitter link).
Soon to turn 30 years of age, Rosario spent five seasons with the Rockies but found his opportunities fizzle out as he struggled behind the dish and declined at the plate. At his best a high-power, albeit defensively middling catcher, Rosario finished his run in Colorado in 2015 as a first baseman who slashed just .268/.295/.416.
Of course, it was still clear that Rosario had ample pop in his bat, having swatted 71 home runs and compiled a .200 isolated power mark through 1,601 MLB plate appearances. That made him an appealing target for Asian ballclubs, many of which have unearthed sluggers in need of a new opportunity in recent years.
Rosario thrived in a two-season run in Korea’s top league, equaling his tally of 71 major-league long balls in just 1,069 trips to the plate. That showing led to a deal that brought him to Japan last year, though Rosario stumbled in Hanshin. In 302 plate appearances, he managed only a .242/.285/.374 batting line with eight home runs.
Under the circumstances, it’s clear that Rosario will be looking for a minor-league deal. He’ll surely draw interest on a risk-free arrangement, but he’ll need to earn his way back into the majors with a strong showing in camp and/or at the Triple-A level.