NY Mets: Three options if Michael Conforto does not re-sign
By Paul Myron
Sign Eddie Rosario
After spending his first six Major League seasons with the Twins, lefty-hitting Eddie Rosario signed a one-year, $8 million deal with the Cleveland Indians for 2021.
Rosario entered free agency after the 2020 campaign when Cleveland decided not to tender him an offer in his final year of arbitration eligibility. The move was a bit of a surprise considering Rosario had a fantastic 2019 season and followed it up with a solid 2020.
Rosario is not the offensive player Conforto is but he does bring good pop, hitting at least 24 homers in the last three full seasons (2017-2019), including a career-high 32 in 2019.
His career slash line of .277/.310/.478 is not overly impressive as Rosario does not have the plate discipline to match Conforto.
However, Rosario brings a solid glove to the outfield and would be an instant defensive upgrade.
Rosario’s defense slipped in 2019 largely due to an ankle injury, but rebounded nicely last season. He finished fourth among qualified outfielders in Ultimate Zone Rating (UZR) last year and would bring good speed and an above-average arm to a Mets outfield starving for defensive upgrades.
Traditionally a left fielder, Rosario may have to shift to right field depending on future roster construction.
If Rosario’s offense continues to progress, the Mets would not be losing much raw power if he had to replace Conforto. Of course, Rosario is not nearly as good a contact hitter and cannot get on base at Conforto’s rate.
Rosario would be a decent replacement, but would not be able to effectively replicate Conforto’s production.