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Wilin Rosario to sign in Japan

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Jerry Crasnick of ESPN reports that Wilin Rosario, who played for the Rockies for five seasons before leaving for Korea in 2016, is close to signing with a Japanese team, the identity of which is not yet known.

This is notable in that, in recent weeks, there had been some speculation that Rosario was drawing interest from MLB clubs and might possibly return to the United States.

Rosario, 28, last played in the majors in 2015. Across five seasons, all with the Rockies, he hit .273/.306/.473. He mostly caught but moved to first base in 2015. He was a defensive liability everywhere he played, but some suspected that multiple AL teams were looking at him as a possible DH.

His bat has certainly been strong. It was passable in the majors, but since joining the Hanwha Eagles of the Korean Baseball Organization he’s totally raked, hitting .321/.367/.593 with 33 home runs and 120 RBI in 2016 and .339/.414/.661 with 37 home runs and 111 RBI in 2017. Obviously it’s easier to hit in Korea than in the U.S., but even adjusting for MLB, he’d profile as a pretty good hitter here.

That will not be the case, however, as Mr. Rosario is taking his talents to Japan.

Al Avila on trading Ian Kinsler: “We’ve gotten to the point where names have been exchanged.”

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Tigers GM Al Avila said on Tuesday, via MLB.com’s Jason Beck, that there’s been significant headway made in the quest to trade second baseman Ian Kinsler. He said, “We’ve gotten to the point where names have been exchanged. We just can’t agree.”

Kinsler, 35, is in the last year of his contract with the Tigers, earning $10 million for this coming season. In 2017, the veteran batted .236/.313/.412 with 22 home runs, 52 RBI, and 90 runs scored in 613 plate appearances.

It’s not known yet which team (or teams) have gotten far in discussions with the Tigers, but the Angels have been suggested as a good fit given their need for a second baseman.