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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.

Sandy Alderson thinks Tim Tebow will play in the major leagues

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Based on his track record so far I don’t think Tim Tebow deserves to play in the major leagues on the merits. Not even close. But then again, I’m not the general manager of the New York Mets, so I don’t get a say in that.

Sandy Alderson is the general manager, so his say carries a lot of weight. To that end, here’s what he said yesterday:

Noting the Tebow experiment has “evolved” into something greater, general manger Sandy Alderson on Sunday said, “I think he will play in the major leagues.”

To be fair, Alderson is pretty up front about the merits of Tebow’s presumed advancement to the bigs at some point. He didn’t say that it’s because Tebow has played his way up. He said this:

“He is great for the team, he is great for baseball, he was phenomenal for minor league baseball last year. The notion that he should have been excluded from the game because he is not coming through the traditional sources, I think is crazy. This is entertainment, too. And he quietly entertains us . . . He benefits the Mets because of how he conducts himself. He’s a tremendous representative of the organization.”

I take issue with Alderson’s comment about people thinking he shouldn’t be in the game because of his background. Most people who have been critical of the Tebow experiment have been critical because there is no evidence that he’s a good enough baseball player to be given the opportunities he’s been given. I mean, he advanced to high-A last year despite struggling at low-A and he’s going to start at Double-A this year in all likelihood despite struggling in high-A. If he does make the bigs, it will likewise come despite struggles in Double-A and maybe Triple-A too.

That said: I don’t mind if they promote Tebow all the way up as long as they’re being honest about why they’re doing it and aren’t trying to get everyone on board with some cockamamie idea that Tebow belongs on the baseball merits. If they do put him in the majors it’ll be because he’s a draw and a good promotion and because people generally like him and he’s not hurting anyone and I can’t take issue with that.

That’s basically what Alderson is saying here and if that’s the case, great. I mean, not great, because Tebow in the bigs will likely also mean that the Mets aren’t playing meaningful games, but great in the sense of “fine.” Baseball is entertainment too. No sense in pretending it isn’t.