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Tuesday, December 01, 2020

Twins place Eddie Rosario on outright waivers

The time has come: Eddie Rosario has been put on outright waivers and is most likely going to become a free agent. Rosario has been projected to net around $9.6 million for the 2021 campaign, which is not nearly what he should receive given his recent production. The Puerto Rican has spent the entirety of his professional career with Minnesota, batting .277/.310/.478 (.788) with 119 bombas and 388 RBI in six seasons. According to Baseball Reference, he accumulated a 10.7 oWAR but a -1.5 dWAR in his time with the club.

In conjunction with the news, Rosenthal also tweeted the the Twins front office had tried to trade Rosie this winter, but to no avail. Teams have until 1p tomorrow to claim Rosario and if they don’t, the Twins may try to get Rosario to agree to a lesser salary because of it, or he’ll become a free agent.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 01, 2020 at 10:18 PM | 16 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: eddie rosario, twins

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   1. Walt Davis Posted: December 01, 2020 at 11:06 PM (#5991964)
This one looks like a clear indicator of post-covid spending. Rosario is a slightly above-average LF (including in 2020) and a very solid bet for 2 WAR -- and that's not worth 1/$10 to the Twins or anybody else?

EDIT: Also, is this a new trend to get outright waivers on a guy rather than non-tendering him? Happened a few times this offseason and I don't recall seeing it before but maybe it's been going on for years.
   2. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: December 01, 2020 at 11:19 PM (#5991967)
Also, is this a new trend to get outright waivers on a guy rather than non-tendering him? Happened a few times this offseason and I don't recall seeing it before but maybe it's been going on for years.


Seems to be a new thing, yes. Makes some sense: Maybe another team wants your guy enough to give up a lottery ticket.
   3. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: December 01, 2020 at 11:42 PM (#5991970)
And... While I don't follow Ken Rosenthal on Twitter, I just now saw he posted a potential strategy the Twins (in this case) may be using:

Twins have tried to trade Rosario, but apparently no team was eager to take him at his arb salary. His waivers expire at 1 p.m. tomorrow. If no team claims him, Twins can make case that no club wanted him at arb number, and try to negotiate a deal with him at a lower price.
   4. Walt Davis Posted: December 02, 2020 at 12:32 AM (#5991971)
#3: That's fairly standard in non-tender cases though already ... maybe less so than it used to be but "we don't want you at $X but we'd be happy to take you at $Y" happens often enough. Sometimes the deal was done before the non-tender and the guy would sign the day after being non-tendered. Granted, Rosario might not yet be willing to accept a lower salary.

Looking through last year's FAs for some Rosario types:

Kole Calhoun 2/$16
Starlin Castro 2/$12
Corey Dickerson 2/$17.5
Cesar Hernandez 1/$6
Tustsugo 2/$12

He's probably a bit better than those average-ish guys (without looking) but probably not as good as Castellanos and Moustakas who both got 4/$64. Neither of those deals looks good now even at pre-covid prices -- Castellanos started hot then fell apart in the second "half"; Moose seems to have been average at best. So even at 2019 prices, it's hard to see him doing much better than 3/$30 so the Twins probably are correct that $10 is no bargain.
   5. Nasty Nate Posted: December 02, 2020 at 08:05 AM (#5991982)
Seems to be a new thing, yes. Makes some sense: Maybe another team wants your guy enough to give up a lottery ticket.
I don't think there is any trading with this type of waivers.
   6. Captain Joe Bivens, Elderly Northeastern Jew Posted: December 02, 2020 at 08:26 AM (#5991985)
Red Sox, please.
   7. The Duke Posted: December 02, 2020 at 09:55 AM (#5992008)
Waivers make sense in several ways. If you have a buyout, then you don’t have to pay it if claimed. If you want to give the guy a shot at earning his money, then waiving him gives him a a chance to hold his salary, and finally if you really do want to sign him at a lower rate, waiving him let’s the player know he ain’t worth the arb price which makes negotiations easier.
   8. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 02, 2020 at 02:41 PM (#5992078)
Rosario cleared waivers. No one was willing to pay $9-10M.
   9. Walt Davis Posted: December 02, 2020 at 05:34 PM (#5992111)
I don't think there is any trading with this type of waivers.

I think there is. These are outright waivers. If no team claims him, the Twins have 10 days (or whatever) to trade him then can "assign" him to a minor league which he can refuse and become an FA. I assume in the case of an arb-eligible player that the tender deadline takes precedence over the 10-day deadline which might make him FA sooner than 10 days. But it's a moot point here (see below) -- if another team wanted to take Rosario to arb while giving up some small piece to the Twins, they'd have made that trade already and certainly would have claimed him on the waivers when they would have to give the Twins nothing in return. Perhaps that's the way you meant it.**

#7: Meh. If somebody is going to claim him then usually you can trade him for trivial return before putting him on waivers. I don't even know what "If you want to give the guy a shot at earning his money, then waiving him gives him a a chance to hold his salary" means -- that "chance" would be with another team and the player would rather take that chance through free agency than the waiver wire. And in terms of signing him at a lower salary, non-tendering gives the team the same opportunity that outrighting does.

Mainly you seem confused. Rosario is not signed for 2021. There is no commitment the Twins are trying to get out from under. They have decided not to begin the arbitration process because that will cost about $10 M. Rather than non-tender him and make him an FA, they put him on waivers. As I noted with regard to another player, this is a dick move by the team -- we don't want you for $10 M but, rather than giving you the opportunity to choose your own employer, we're going to see if anybody else wants to force you to play for them (via arbitration) ... providing NO BENEFIT to the Twins whatsoever. (There's the waiver price I guess ... what is that, $50 K?)

The only "advantage" I see for the team is, if I'm right above, then the Twins will have a few days to exclusively negotiate a lower salary before Rosario becomes an FA. But they can already have this exclusivity right up to the tender deadline and, if Rosario agrees, they non-tender him then re-sigh him at the lower salary.

So there is realistically no way for the Twins to gain anything by outrighting him than by non-tendering him. All it does is give other teams the opportunity to force him into a 1/$10 contract. That's essentially what I'm asking -- am I overlooking some benefit to the Twins?

On the "gets the player to see they can't get 1/$10 elsewhere" ... they'll see that right after you non-tender them as well. Rosario faces basically the same decision either way -- OK, I can't get $10 M elsewhere, now do I want $X M from the Twins or keep looking elsewhere.

** Outright waivers make a bit more sense for the team during the season or on players not as good as Rosario. First, stuff happens to other teams between the 2-day waiver period and the end of the 10 days so they might now give you a tiny something for the reliever you're outrighting. Second, it gives the player time to explore their other options to catch onto some other team's 40-man before deciding on the assignment. Third, the team might legitimately like to keep the buy in the organization but not on the 40-man. But "stuff" doesn't really happen in the offseason and you have 4 months to find a solution when it does; the player would rather explore those options as an FA; there's no way Rosario is accepting an assignment.

EDIT: To be clear, I won't be at all surprised if Rosario re-signs with the Twins in the next few days ... just like I wouldn't have been surprised if they had non-tendered him then the next day signed him at a lower salary.
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 02, 2020 at 08:39 PM (#5992158)
They have Alex Kiriloff, my guess is they are moving on from Rosario.
   11. The Duke Posted: December 02, 2020 at 09:05 PM (#5992168)
8. You are right I was mixing letting people go out of their options with non-tendering but all the same concepts apply. If another team takes him then he will get to go to arb and earn his $9 million. If they outright him, and correct me if I am wrong, he falls out of arb process and effectively becomes a free agent. So letting him go through waivers gives him a chance to still get his arb figure if claimed - if you have no intent on signing him why not do him a favor. As to why would anyone claim him, well if you think someone behind you on the waiver wire might do it, and you want to ensure you get your man, you do it.

For the twins, if they’ve been trying to negotiate a deal before the waiver, this is a way to to show the player that there is no market for him at the arb rate. Seems like you would always do this. The extra couple days has nothing to do with the decision process, imo. So put another way, I think the twins wanted to sign him at a lower rate and they used this to prove there was no market at the higher rate. Maybe Rosario himself asked them to prove it.

The cardinals declined Wong’s option and paid his buyout instead of running him through waivers and seeing if another team would bite. That’s just dumb. It’s not a dick move at all, just playing the game.
   12. Walt Davis Posted: December 02, 2020 at 11:30 PM (#5992197)
If somebody is going to claim him and take him to arb, knowing it will cost them $10 M then, in the alternative where he's non-tendered, that team would offer him $10 M ... or maybe even 2/$18 ... or two teams would offer 1/$10 and he'd get the other one up to $11. Being on waivers gains Rosario nothing.

And yes, there are obvious reasons why a team might claim him -- if they thought getting him at 1/$10 without giving up talent was a good deal they would do it. That is the situation where it hurts Rosario while gaining the Twins nothing -- Rosario doesn't get the opportunity to play teams off one another.

So it can't benefit Rosario or the Twins while it could hurt Rosario. That's a dick move.

The Wong situation is different. If another team had claimed Wong, the Cards would have saved the $1 M buyout money -- at least there would have been some benefit to them while potentially harming Wong. That's a dick move that potentially saves you a million. Further, Wong has over 6 years service time, there was no tender decision to make. Also I believe option decisions have to be made by Nov 1 when FAs are declared. It's reported that Wong has declined a "multi-year offer" from the Cards. But yes, as far as I know, the Cards could have put him on waivers rather than decline his option.

The notion that any player is better off in arbitration than as an FA is predicated on the idea that a team is knowingly willing to pay more for the player under arb than that player can get on the open market ... even though the team making that decision has ample oppurtunity to sign the player at the lower price. The only way I see that makes any sense is that the team knows the player would not willingly return and is willing to pay a bit extra to force the player to return, not a particularly positive situation for the player.

It is of course always to the player's financial benefit if one or more teams over-value him relative to market ... even there he's only better off on waivers is if the mythical team that would have claimed later realizes he can be had for less than $10, something they should have known before claiming him. Anyway, in such a situation, it's not clear why such a team wouldn't trade the Twins some A-ball flotsam for him before they outrighted him.

Note, if a player is under contract with the team and out of options, then there's no way for the team to get rid of him other than through waivers, the cleanest being an unconditional release. Them's the rules so the dickishness of the team doesn't really come into play ... and of course such players are pretty much never claimed so it doesn't save the team any money. As far as I know, there's no waiver period attached to non-tendering, this is strictly the Twins' choice.

I will answer/remind myself that one advantage a team gets is a 40-man roster spot. If the Twins needed a 40-man spot for some reason a couple of days before the tender deadline then outrighting a guy you're gonna non-tender (and let go) has a benefit. That doesn't seem the case here.
   13. Walt Davis Posted: December 02, 2020 at 11:49 PM (#5992203)
For the twins, if they’ve been trying to negotiate a deal before the waiver, this is a way to to show the player that there is no market for him at the arb rate. Seems like you would always do this. The extra couple days has nothing to do with the decision process, imo. So put another way, I think the twins wanted to sign him at a lower rate and they used this to prove there was no market at the higher rate. Maybe Rosario himself asked them to prove it.

And this ... This will be proved to Rosario when he's non-tendered. "I think I'm worth 1/$10." "Sorry, we think it's only 1/$7." "Well, I guess we'll find out after you non-tender me and I offer my services to other teams." "Want to find out 6 hours before the non-tender deadline at the risk of not being able to decide what team you'll play for?" "That would be great!" (Seems that's about when the 48 hours would have elapsed.)

Your argument gains some credibility if the Twins had done this a week to ten days ago, then they'd have the exclusive negotiating window I believe. Or sure, it's possible that Rosario knows the Twins are right, the two have already come to basic agreement at 1/$7 but Rosario asked them to see one last time if there'd be a team willing to take him on at 1/$10.

Again, if this sort of thing has been happening for years and I just never noticed then it's normal business practice and the union can address it if they want to. If it's new like I think it is, then it appears to be nothing but a dick move ... or there's some benefit to the team that nobody is seeing. It is of course also true that it will almost never matter -- this will only happen in situations where it's fairly clear nobody will meet that price and the player just ends up an FA either way or, if claimed, that particular player may not care where they play as long as somebody is willing to pay that price.
   14. Nasty Nate Posted: December 02, 2020 at 11:57 PM (#5992204)
I don't think there is any trading with this type of waivers.

I think there is. These are outright waivers. If no team claims him, the Twins have 10 days (or whatever) to trade him then can "assign" him to a minor league which he can refuse and become an FA. I assume in the case of an arb-eligible player that the tender deadline takes precedence over the 10-day deadline which might make him FA sooner than 10 days. But it's a moot point here (see below) -- if another team wanted to take Rosario to arb while giving up some small piece to the Twins, they'd have made that trade already and certainly would have claimed him on the waivers when they would have to give the Twins nothing in return. Perhaps that's the way you meant it.**
I also meant it in the sense that he can't be traded for the 48(?) hours while he is on waivers (unless i am wrong about the rule).
   15. The Duke Posted: December 04, 2020 at 12:54 PM (#5992444)
From Ken rosenthal today:

The Twins ended up non-tendering two players, outfielder Eddie Rosario and right-handed reliever Matt Wisler, and even in the case of Rosario they acted in a manner rival agents considered respectful. Before declining to offer Rosario a contract for his final year of arbitration, the Twins placed him on outright waivers, giving him a chance to get claimed by a team that might have been willing to pay his projected salary, which MLBTradeRumors.com estimated would be between $8.6 million and $12.9 million. When no team jumped, the Twins went ahead with the non-tender, while leaving open the possibility, however remote, that Rosario still might return.
   16. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 04, 2020 at 01:02 PM (#5992449)

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