A Mets official tells Joel Sherman of the New York Post that Amed Rosario becoming a multi-positional player is “likely in the cards” for 2021. Rosario has almost exclusively played shortstop during his eight pro seasons, apart from seven games as a third baseman in the minors and one game in left field at the MLB level.
This isn’t the first time a position change has been weighed for Rosario, as the Mets considered him as a center field candidate back in June 2019. Nothing came of the idea, however, and perhaps it isn’t a coincidence that around that same time, Rosario went on the hottest hitting stretch of his young career. After batting .322/.353/.453 over his final 372 plate appearances of the 2019 season, Rosario seemed to solidify his claim as New York’s shortstop of the future, but he struggled in 2020. This opened the door for Andres Gimenez to claim an increasingly large share of the shortstop playing time down the stretch.
It should be noted that the Mets have apparently not run the idea of a position change past Rosario or his agent Ulises Cabrera, who tells Sherman that “as far as we are concerned, Amed Rosario is the starting shortstop of the New York Mets, and he’s working out and preparing as such.” As such, Rosario isn’t planning to start working out at other positions either in his personal offseason work or in a more organized environment like winter ball.
Rosario’s glovework at shortstop has long been a question mark, though he did make some progress on that front in the eyes of some metrics. Over 322 1/3 innings at the position last season, Rosario had a +2 Outs Above Average and a +3.5 UZR/150. (The Defensive Runs Saved metric remains unimpressed with Rosario’s work, as he posted -3 DRS.) While it is understandable that Rosario would want to remain the regular shortstop, becoming a more versatile defensive player would theoretically add to his overall value. Or, perhaps Rosario would reveal himself as a plus defender at second base, third base, or in the outfield.
The rumors of a Francisco Lindor trade continue to loom over the Mets’ shortstop plans, though Sherman feels the Mets might have enough depth at the position to forego a pursuit of Lindor for the time being. Sherman opines that the Mets could keep Gimenez at shortstop in 2021 to explore what they have in him, which also allows more time for top prospect Ronny Mauricio to get more seasoning in the minors or in another alternate training-site scenario depending on what happens with next year’s minor league season. If the Mets aren’t satisfied with what they see from Rosario, Gimenez, or Mauricio, they could explore a trade for a shortstop in-season (perhaps with one of the current trio going the other way in a deal), or maybe just wait to sign one of the many outstanding shortstops who are scheduled to hit free agency next winter.