The Braves have re-signed free agent outfielder Eddie Rosario to a two-year, $18MM contract with a club option for the 2024 season, the team announced. Rosario will earn $9MM in each of the next two seasons. The Braves didn’t announce the value of the 2024 option, but The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports that it’s also at $9MM, with no buyout. Rosario is represented by Roc Nation Sports.
Rosario, 30, landed with the Braves in a midseason salary dump after a generally unproductive start to the season in Cleveland. The longtime Twins left fielder had signed a one-year, $8MM there after being non-tendered by Minnesota but hit just .254/.296/.389 in 306 plate appearances before landing on the injured list due to an abdominal strain. The Braves acquired Rosario knowing he’d need some additional time to mend, but it’s doubtful even their most bullish projections could’ve foreseen what laid ahead.
Activated from the 10-day IL on Aug. 27, Rosario exploded with a .271/.330/.573 showing in 96 plate appearances down the stretch in Atlanta. He seven home runs, four doubles and a pair of triples during that hot streak — and that production alone would’ve made the acquisition well worth it. Rosario, however, carried that production into the postseason — at least for the National League Championship Series.
After a mostly nondescript three games in the NLDS, Rosario again stole the spotlight with a blistering 14-for-25 effort that included three home runs, a double, a triple and nine runs driven in. Following that showing, Rosario’s crowning as NLCS MVP was a foregone conclusion. His production dried up during the World Series (5-for-22), but Rosario’s overall production with the Braves and those postseason heroics resulted in a solid payday and what figures to be an everyday role in Atlanta.
The up-and-down nature of Rosario’s 2021 season wasn’t exactly anomalous in nature. He’s been prone to torrid hot streaks and pronounced cold streaks throughout his big league career, thanks in part to a hyperaggressive approach at the plate. Rosario has strong bat-to-ball skills, evidenced by a strikeout rate of just 14.7% across the past three seasons. However, he’s also walked in fewer than five percent of his big league plate appearances, and over the past three seasons he has the game’s 13th-highest swing percentage (55.8%) and 11th-highest chase percentage (43%). Rosario excels at making contact even on those pitches off the plate, but in chasing so frequently, he gives up some opportunities to capitalize on his above-average power by driving better pitches.
Defensively, Rosario is more of a mixed bag. He’s played all over the outfield but is best suited in the corners, where he has ample arm strength that led to some gaudy assist totals, particularly early in his tenure with the Twins. Defensive metrics have soured on his work in recent seasons, but there’s an immense gulf between the most bullish and most bearish measures of evaluation. Defensive Runs Saved, for instance, credits Rosario with a +2 mark in 2021 — but Statcast’s Outs Above Average grades him at -17, which is the worst mark among all Major League outfielders. Year-to-year looks at defensive metrics can offer great fluctuation, but taken in larger samples, each of DRS, UZR and OAA give him negative grades dating back to 2017.
None of that’s to say Rosario is a poor investment for the Braves, particularly at these terms. His approach at the plate has worked for him, as evidenced by a solid .275/.309/.473 batting line (105 wRC+) and 133 home runs through 3242 career plate appearances. He’s posted single-season home run totals of 27 (2017) and 32 (2019) in the past, so he has the potential to be a prominent source of power in the Braves’ lineup over the next couple seasons. His overall offensive production is curbed a bit by the frequent swings and lack of walks, but Rosario has been a generally above-average hitter who’ll pair with Adam Duvall, Marcell Ozuna and, once healthy, Ronald Acuna Jr. in what should be a productive outfield/designated hitter carousel in Atlanta.
In order to clear space on the 40-man roster, Atlanta placed starter Mike Soroka on the 60-day injured list. Soroka underwent a second Achilles surgery last June that was expected to sideline him into July, so it’s no surprise he won’t be ready for at least the first two months of the season.
“He gone!!1!” – Hark Harrelson
Hark? oof. Can’t edit on mobile.
Who goes there?
Hark! The Harrelson sings…
Great signing by the Braves. I don’t know but I’m impressed with Atlanta they always get great players or sign them to friendly extensions. Alex Anthopoulos is becoming one of the best general managers.
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He blackmails the players…he has a dig on them.
His moves with regarding Freeman and Olson in addition to how he’s handled coming out of the rebuild puts him in the elite class. I rank Anthopoulos with Neander, Stearns, Friedman, Click, and Zaidi.
A number of others are a half-step behind. Give them a few more years to see how they handle situations with their teams. Sustainable contention is what it’s all about.
He didn’t win it last year because awards are voted on after the regular season, but the aftermath of the Braves title run, this offseason, and if we play well or have a good deadline, has to make AA the favorite for GM of the Year, I would think
Wow! The Braves have no holes now after signing Rosario. I have the Braves winning the NL East the Mets coming in 2nd with double the payroll.
Back of rotation needs addressing without a sure 4-5, though a lot of candidates that have had chances. Hopefully Wright gets right. I’d expect Greinke on a 1/7M deal with maybe performance bonuses/mutual option.
Does signing a league average player really constitute a “Wow” moment?
Are you referring to the guy who ended the Dodgers?
Rosario. League average player. What he did in the post season means nothing moving forward. He had a great series. League average players sometimes do that sometimes.
@Cosmo2 Moving forward it means everything to him and every REAL Braves fan out there, it was called the World Series 2021, and for most living Braves fans it won’t be forgotten ‘moving forward’. Furthermore, some of the biggest stars in baseball have poor records in the post season, Rosario did it when it counted and it mattered, that is called clutch. You can use all the demeaning terminologies you like about players, however, that’s your flawed opinion to which you’re entitled ‘moving forward’.
Who said it was a “wow moment”? It’s just an announcement about the Braves signing their 9th place hitter/part-time corner outfielder.
McGriff: I’m talking about future expectations. Rosario’s nostalgic value means nothing towards that. What you call “clutch” is not a talent but a result of the randomness of statistics. You wanna pay for nostalgia?
The poster I originally responded to said “wow”
Oh, so clutch is not a talent. That explains why champions get it done when they have the most pressure on them, and when it is the big moment they come up with the big hit, or the big strike out. If you relate it to eg. tennis, it’s the player that can either save break points or convert them. Clutch is absorbing the pressure and not caving in, that is a talent and it’s a mental power and skill.
This is clutch, this is skill, this is pressure.
2 outs 1 ball 2 strikes.
A starting pitcher would be helpful.
FredMcGriff for the HOF
It’s going to take me awhile to get over Freddie Freeman being gone but now the Braves essentially have Olson/Rosario at near the same cost (minus 4 prospects of course but they’ll get 1 back in the draft from the rejected QO). Looks like we’re stuck with Ozuna hopefully he’s a changed man at DH. If Acuna can be ready soon this team doesn’t have any holes and I can see them running away with the NL East and possibly a repeat championship if everyone stays healthy. Soroka might even be back mid season.
Great 755 is Real podcast on The Athletic with insight into all this by Braves beat writer, Dave O’Brien. What has been done is something special. Yes, it hurts me to see Freddie leave. He is the consummate human being, loved ball all, and clubhouse leader. But the business of baseball rolls on, and AA did an amazing job with the budget he was given.
IMHO, FF should get more than 25M AAV but less than 30M he may be seeking. With that being said, you can also include McHugh (4M) to Rosario (9M) and Olson (15M) = 28M. Olson will be 21M AAV for 8 years and if you think Freeman should get 27-30M AAV, possibly, that’s impressive savings while arguably getting better. That savings could help with a nice extension offer to Riley/Fried.
McHugh + Rosario + Olson = $28 mil?
So are you trying to say the Braves didn’t have more than $28 mil to spend and Rosario and McHugh are the luxuries of letting Freeman walk? Lmao
Braves went cheap and downgraded at 1B plain and simple.
Anyone who thinks Olson will age well on an 8 year contract is in denial. At best he’ll be good for the first 4. He’s exactly the type of hitter to fall off a cliff after hitting 30.
I’d rather bet on Freddie producing the next 6 years than Olson producing the next 8 years. Braves made a mistake on this one, and fanboys like RunDMC are never able to comment objectively when a mistake was made. Instead, they’ll run laps in their head to try to justify why whatever terrible decision was just made is actually a positive.
And the Braves released their financials and it showed how much more they raked in during last years WS run. And how do they repay the fans? By being cheap as always.
No reason Freeman and Rosario shouldn’t have both been brought back.
I did the fans a solid leaving now instead of just keeping me you get 2 good players Olson/Rosario. Your welcome!
Yes. Much better than Joc.
Mets were looking like the Champs of the off-season but the braves, Phil’s and Nats have done just as much. Cohen needs to do something else
What exactly did the Nats do besides sign Cruz? Lol
Mets got Schrezer , Canha, Marte, Ottavino, Escobar, Bassit. They still win the off season. They got a #1 and #2 pitcher which becomes their #2 and #3
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Didn’t the Mets win the off-season last year too? Oh, I know. This is the year Lindor finds it and their off-season acquisitions work out. Mets are improved but the core wasn’t great from the start.
You Can Put It In The Books
Your takes are always so free of emotion, it’s admirable.
The Mets still won’t win anything other than the off season.
Schwarber, Familia, Hand, Herrea and Knebel really have you scared? Mets had the best offseason I’ve ever seen. Braves were very good to begin with. Nats signed Nelson Cruz.
Mets had more ground to make up so they had to make a lot of moves….
the Mets have done as much as those three teams combined
Awesome, now the OF is set. Let’s go get a veteran SP and another bench bat.
I thought they needed one more OFer? Then again, I guess they’ll get Ozuna and Acuna back along with Duvall, I think.
Ozuna will DH. I guess Eddie, Duvall, Acuna around the outfield,
I believe they may use Drew Waters atleast until Acuna comes back. Rosario LF, Waters C, Duvall RF, Ozuna DH, Heredia Bench and sprinkled in here and there. This will give the Braves a chance to take a look at Waters in the Big Leagues.
They could use a CF but by May or June you’ve got Acuna back so you’d be looking at
RF – Acuna
CF – Duvall
LF – Rosario
DH – Ozuna
I’ve got a feeling you may be seeing Michael Harris sooner than most expected this season unless they find a CF or Drew Waters has a big Spring.
They’ve got Duvall, Rosario, Ozuna, and Heredia ready to go now until Acuna comes back. They also have Arcia who played some outfield for them last yr. While far from perfect, it’ll work until Acuna is back.
Don’t forget they also have Travis Demeritte who had a monster year in AAA and was added to the 40 man prior to the offseason.
I forgot about Demeritte. He did decent in his cups of coffee with the Tigers before last year. No wonder he didn’t get called up last year. He was gone, lol.
And they signed Alex Dickerson who has big league experience and success in spot roles.
Heredia, Arcia, whoever has a hot spring can be the third OF until RAJ returns. Unless Harris lights it up and the team is certain he’s worth burning the option year in April, I doubt he’s in the mix immediately.
Good deal. Got him for a steal.
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But what about Soler?
This is a bit much but he is (one) of the reasons the Braves won a championship. He deserves it.
I like Soler and wouldn’t have minded him but it’s basically one or the other.
Rosario is a more versatile left handed version of Soler. With Ozuna likely being the DH you get more defense from Rosario in the OF than Soler. Soler is also a right handed bat which would lean the lineup towards a RH bias.
Soler will be re-acquired at the deadline and he will hit a home run out of Guaranteed Rate Field to clinch the World Series for Atlanta.
He is a RH bat and they needed a LH OF bat more. I love him and will always be a fan after his heroics, but at this point in the roster build, Rosario made better sense.
Well well, bringing him back! Awesome job AA distributing resources throughout the roster. Each day that passes, I’m more and more convinced Freddie’s camp overreached in the negotiations and asking to retain him.
Good job in bringing Eddie back. A more versatile lefty version of Soler.
I hope Soler goes somewhere nice, gets paid, & doesn’t mash against us.
Nothing bad to say about him other than he’s likely more of a DH than OF.
Simply not enough room for both & Ozuna.
I’m hearing that the Acereros de Monclova made a push to sign Rosario before he re-upped with the Braves.
Well crap. Rangers OF options running even more slim as the morning progresses.
I’m going to believe that the Rangers will run Marisnick out to the OF the majority of the time after signing him. Hoping that with 450 abs, he goes about .260, 15 hrs, 25 sbs, and the usual great defense.
Excellent signing bringing him back. Good left handed bat with some pop.
Dusty Baker's tooth pick.
Glad to have NLCS MVP back.
Great signing. I was hoping for another lefty bat.
2/18 is a good deal for the Braves
You Can Put It In The Books
Marlins are running out of CF options. Poor @MarlinsFanBase will have to settle for running Astudillo out there everyday.
Braves almost done with their offseason and Freddie still hasn’t made a decision…
I’m curious where Freddie will end up. Looks like Toronto is out with the Chapman trade.
Guessing any of the Cali teams (Except the A’s, that would be nuts lol) have a good chance.
Haven’t looked at their roster but geographically Seattle?
They still need another SP and maybe a bullpen arm, org depth in AAA
one down, one more to go
are you guys gonna complain again like you did last season? people on Instagram were mad pressed about rosario getting 8M and saying its an overpay, good signing
Braves FO is smart. Can you be a fan of a Front Office and not be a fan of the team?
You can fan anything you want and blow good wishes at whatever you are fanning. It helps if the baseball team isn’t in your division and it’s even better if they are in the opposite league.
I have been fanning on Tampa Bay, since they got in the league. Initially, I posted on their websites constantly for years discussing team building prior to their ascension to the rank of “very well run organization for their market”.
Not a bad signing but we’re still talking about a player who put up all of 1.1 bWAR last year. His position could end up ripe for an upgrade come the deadline.
He was big in the post season but overall not more than a back up in the regular season. At least he’s a lefty bat but it’s hard to fathom the two year guarantee.
Maybe, but it’d be interesting to see what other teams, if any, were offering. Sure, he’s not going to be like he was in the postseason, but his career says he’ll be closer to that than the 2020-21 version. Question is: did ATL really revive his career and can he continue to post exceptional offensive numbers in a park that plays to lefties? While he looked fantastic defensively in the playoffs, I’d still see him average while giving 2 years to work either Waters/Harris or both into the lineup, occasionally utilizing the DH to rest some. AA mentioned a few days ago the possibility of having Acuña play CF as an option if that could allow him the freedom to purse a COF or work Waters/Harris into an everyday spot (knowing COF is easier, that’d allow them to focus more on their offense).
At $9m/yr the ATL can probably move Rosario in 2023 if he fails to produce in 2022.
It wasn’t Freddie for Olson. It was Freddie for Olson, Rosario and that reliever from Tampa. That’s a win.
wu tang killa beez
I like Rosario, I’m curious to see if he can return to producing after that huge playoffs run he had
Sounds like the ATL’s front office has its doubts about Acuna’s and Soroka’s comebacks, which means an open door for Rosario. He’s an insurance policy.