Kamil Krzaczynski/Associated Press
Rosario, 29, posted 13 home runs, 42 RBI, a .257 batting average and a .792 OPS in 57 games last season. He posted career highs with 32 home runs and 107 RBI the year before.
Here’s how Cleveland’s lineup could look with Rosario in the lineup, per RosterResource (via FanGraphs):
Projected Cleveland Batting Order
1. 2B Cesar Hernandez
2. 3B Jose Ramirez
3. LF Eddie Rosario
4. DH Franmil Reyes
5. 1B Josh Naylor
6. C Roberto Perez
7. SS Andres Gimenez
8. CF Oscar Mercado
9. RF Daniel Johnson
C Austin Hedges
SS Amed Rosario
OF Jordan Luplow
OF/1B Jake Bauers
The Twins non-tendered Rosario in December, making him a free agent. He ultimately decided to sign with an AL Central rival, which is hoping for improved offense after posting a .689 OPS, third-worst in the American League.
The lineup has arguably gotten worse after Cleveland dealt star shortstop Francisco Lindor to the New York Mets. Lindor (.258 AVG, .750 OPS) had a down year in 2020, but the 26-year-old had a .288 average and .840 OPS during the first five years of his career.
Rosario brings some much-needed pop to the lineup, though, and he should be featured prominently in the lineup. He’ll be expected to anchor the offense alongside Jose Ramirez, Cesar Hernandez and Franmil Reyes.
The offense may not need to improve much for Cleveland to find success again.
Shane Bieber, the staff ace and 2020 American League Cy Young Award winner, is back. The same goes for Zach Plesac (2.28 ERA) and Triston McKenzie (3.24 ERA).
Cleveland did lose Carlos Carrasco in the Mets deal, and closer Brad Hand is now a Washington National after he left via free agency.
Still, the top half of Cleveland’s lineup is promising, and the same goes for its starting pitching. A return to the postseason after finishing fourth in the American League last year is certainly feasible, especially if Rosario can post numbers close to his 2019 form.