Picking up Eddie Rosario’s option is an easy decision

MLB: AUG 22 Mets at Braves

Following a historic postseason performance from Eddie Rosario during the Braves 2021 World Series run, Alex Anthopoulos inked him to a two-year, $18 million contract with a $9 million club option for 2024.

Everyone was thrilled to have Rosario back in the fold for the foreseeable future, but vision issues essentially cost him the entire 2022 campaign. He missed several months after undergoing laser eye surgery, and when he returned, he was a shell of himself.

For nearly his entire career, Rosario has been one of the most consistent bats in all of baseball, recording an OPS+ of at least 107 from 2017-2020. He also posted a 134 OPS+ with the Braves in 2021. Rosario’s defense may leave something to be desired, but the guy has always been able to mash. Clearly, something was bothering him the entire 2022 season, leading to an OPS+ of just 62. He went from a postseason hero to one of the worst offensive players in the league in the blink of an eye, leading to concerns about whether he’d ever be the same player again.

Those concerns were only validated after a slow start to the 2023 campaign. Rosario was hitting just .175 with one home through the first 18 games. The questions began to arise, “Can this guy even see?” To which he responded with something along the lines of, “R-E-L-A-X.”

Rosario went absolutely berserk over his next 48 games, hitting .304 with 11 homers and a .942 OPS. That hot stretch was then followed up by a lengthy slump, which was then followed up by another scorching hot streak. That’s just who Rosario has been his entire career. When he’s hot, there’s not another player on the planet you’d rather have in the batter’s box; when he’s not, he probably could not hit above the Mendoza Line in Rookie Ball. However, when you look up at the end of the season, he’s blasted 25+ homers and has an OPS around .800.

Any player that can hit 25+ bombs is worth a one-year, $9 million contract. Eddie Rosario isn’t the world’s greatest defender, but he’s far from a complete liability in left field. His stats this season suggest the Braves should pick his option up, and it shouldn’t really be much of a question, but the stats can’t articulate the most valuable aspect of Rosario’s game — his massive balls.

Rosario is one of the most clutch players in all of baseball. He carried the Braves in the 2021 NLCS. Without him, the Braves don’t even make the World Series, let alone win it, and those same heroics have shown up time and time again this season. Rosario has 50 plate appearances in late and close situations, and he’s slugging .667 with four homers and a 1.014 OPS, including three go-ahead homers, as we saw this past weekend against the Giants.

Eddie Rosario flat out has ice in his veins. He’s unshakable, no matter the moment. Those kinds of players don’t grow on trees. It’s the kind of stuff that can’t be taught, which is why picking up Rosario’s option for next season is a no-brainer.

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire

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