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Cleveland signs Eddie Rosario to $8 million deal for 2021

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The deal, as the old saying goes, is pending physicals

Wild Card Round - Houston Astros v Minnesota Twins - Game One Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images

The Cleveland baseball team is reportedly close to signing Eddie Rosario, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand.

According to Paul Hoynes, Rosario is already in Cleveland getting his physical. So this one may be official quicker than César Hernández’s deal, which was hinted at on Tuesday and just finalized today as a one-year, $5 million deal with a $6 million team option for 2022.

The deal is reportedly for $8 million. From Jon Becker (whose sources also said Cleveland was interested in signing him earlier today):

Rosario has spent all six years of his career with the Minnesota Twins, terrorizing Cleveland pitching to the tune of an OPS over 1.000 Progressive Field. He enters 2021 with 12 games of four or more hits; three of them have come against Cleveland.

He features a career .277/.310/.478 slash with 119 home runs and 106 wRC+ — a modest upgrade for most offenses, but he is easily Cleveland’s best outfielder on day one. That could change when Nolan Jones is called up and gets acclimated to major-league pitching (or if Daniel Johnson takes off), but he should be an instant boost.

Steamer projects the 29-year-old to slash .270/.316/.485 with 26 home runs in 123 games, while ZiPS has him at a .277/.314/.488 slash with 28 home runs in 143. Both equate to a 105 wRC+ which, again, is a huge upgrade to whatever makeshift lifeboat Cleveland was going to trot out when the season opens in April.

Rosario has played every outfield position in his career but has gravitated toward left field with Byron Buxton roaming center in Minnesota. He’s not a stud out there by any means, but again (and I cannot stress this enough), he can actually hit the ball. Right now that’s good enough.

Welcome to Cleveland, Eddie!