Ninety-six men named Eddie have played Major League Baseball since 1871. Be careful — several portions of this list look like someone trying to create ever-more improbable names. How else do you explain the rapid descent into madness (Murray->Stanky->Yost->JOOOOOST) or names like “Fusselback”, “Waitkus”, and “Turchin”?
Eddie Rosario is already the 13th-best Eddie in major league History by fWAR, accumulating 11.4 throughout his career (and seemingly all against his new team). He will turn 29 this season, so it seems fair to guess that he will climb higher on the ladder of Eddies, perhaps into the top ten before his career is over. In order to do so, he would need to surpass Eddie Bressoud, who holds on to the spot with a 15.3 fWAR. A career-year from Rosario — and one that wouldn’t be too surprising — is enough to top that mark this season.
From there the ascent gets steep. Eddie Collins stands at the summit with 120.5 fWAR. A short way down is Eddie Mathews (96.1) and peaking just into the rarified air is Eddie Murray (72.0).
No, I do not think it is possible that Eddie Rosario is a Hall of Famer. But, he still has a chance to be the best Eddie who is not in the Hall. The aforementioned Stanky, Yost, and Joost sit at 37.7, 37.0, and 33.3, respectively. A string of All-Star caliber seasons in his early thirties and maybe one flirtatious missed encounter with the MVP award would put them within reach. I also think that represents a reasonable expectation of where Eddie Rosario’s ceiling might be for the rest of his career.
That would be outstanding, and it would be even more so if he did most of that damage in Cleveland. Even in the scenario where he plays more like a Bressoud and less like a Murray, fans should be pleased. Bressoud kept pace with Carl Yazstremski (and one of the great What-Ifs of baseball, Tony Conigliaro) for three seasons in the ‘60s.
Those teams also lost 90 games pretty much every year.
My point is, Cleveland has their first Eddie since 2001. They have their best Eddie since 1995, at least, and maybe even the best one that they’ve ever had. Even if Rosario astounds by playing as well for us as he always did against us, I’m not sure it solves Cleveland’s outfield situation.
It’ll be a whole hell of a lot more fun to watch, though.