In Cleveland Indians trade rumors, newly acquired infielder Amed Rosario could be back on the trade block for the second time this offseason.
The Cincinnati Reds are reportedly contemplating whether they should address their need at shortstop by acquiring the one-time highly ranked prospect, according to New York Post Mets beat writer Mike Puma.
The Indians acquired Rosario, 25, in addition to Andres Gimenez, in the trade that made Francisco Lindor a Met.
Yesterday, Puma fueled speculation of Rosario changing teams for the third time by tweeting “It wouldn’t be surprising…if Rosario is traded again.”
Cleveland Indians can afford to move Rosario.
When the Cleveland Indians traded Lindor for two players whose primary position is shortstop, it didn’t seem all that weird.
The Tribe also needed a second baseman, which made Rosario a logical fit, with the thinking being that one could play of the players acquired could play the position.
If that was the plan, it was altered by Cesar Hernandez re-signing with the Tribe. The terms of the deal are still not known, but it’s a one-year contract that comes with a team option for a second season.
With a Glove Glove winner who can also hit leadoff under contract for two seasons, second base would seem to be settled for the foreseeable future.
Cleveland.com’s Terry Pluto keeps writing about Gimenez opening the season at Triple-A, meaning Rosario could be the Opening Day starter. I sure hope that’s not the case. Gimenez outperformed Rosario in New York and was the Mets starting shortstop for the final month of the season.
The Indians also have Yu Chang, who can play short and second. Additionally, the organization is stockpiling prospects at shortstop. The club traded Mike Clevinger for Padres prospect Gabriel Arias, while their own Tyler Freeman is consistently listed in Top 100 prospect rankings.
He’s only 20, but Top 100 prospect Brayan Rocchio is also opening eyes, although he’s years away from contributing at the major-league level.
So yeah, on the surface, it looks like the Indians could spare a shortstop. That’s especially true since the organization seems allergic to acquiring something they desperately need: A corner outfielder.
Perhaps this is all a doomsday scenario in which Jose Ramirez is traded to the Braves and Rosario is asked to try third base (although Nolan Jones would be the more logical fit).
Rosario was solid in 2018, batting .287 with a .755 OPS. He hit 15 homers. However, his 2020 campaign was forgettable, as he batted .252 with an ugly .643 OPS.
Perhaps the Reds feel they can squeeze some production out of Rosario. They have a nice prospect in Jose Garcia, but he may not be ready to take over shortstop just yet. With Rosario under club control for two more seasons, this would buy Cincinnati some time.
As for the cash-strapped Indians–the club certainly has room for improvement, and they’re keeping the stove hot as evidenced by the Hernandez signing…we’ll just have to wait and see.