Craig Calcaterra

Wilin Rosario
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Wilin Rosario signs with a Korean team

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Wilin Rosario has signed a $1.3 million contract with the Hanwha Eagles of the Korea Baseball Organization. The report comes from Jee-ho Yoo of Korea’s Yonhap News Agency.

Rosario is no one’s idea of a perfect player.  He’s a bad defensive catcher and the Rockies’ efforts to see if he could handle first base didn’t pan out either. Still, the guy has some pop in that bat — he hit 28 home runs in 2012 and has averaged 26 home home runs for every 162 games over the course of his five-year major league career — and he mashes lefties, with a .319/.354/.604 line against southpaws.

I realize “platoon DH” is not exactly the sort of thing major leagues leave space for on rosters these days, but I would’ve figured that he’d be worth a minor league offer at least. Heck, maybe even an offer to play in Japan? Korea is sort of a last stop for baseball careers that begin in North America.*

Do your defensive drills, kids. They could end up being the difference between having a career or not.

UPDATE: After this post had been live for awhile, Twitter follower Sung Min Kim reminded me that I was off about that “last stop” thing, noting that several players, including Buddy Carlyle, Julio Franco and Dana Eveland came back to the bigs after playing in Korea. Apologies to those dudes. And to Rosario, I suppose, who could maybe one day make it back here.

The Mets and Yoenis Cespedes are talking about an opt-out after one year

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Take all of this with a GIGANTIC grain of salt, but Buster Olney reports that the Mets and Yoenis Cespedes are discussing a three-year contract that would include an opt-out after the first year.

I say take it with a grain of salt because nothing the Mets have said or done so far makes them seem terribly serious about bringing back Cespedes. Indeed, to the extent they have been mentioned in rumors at all it is almost always after something is reported about the Nationals’ interest or some comment from Cespedes or his people. Indeed, everything the Mets have done is more satisfactorily explained by them wanting to either (a) look like they’re involved to save face when he goes elsewhere; or (b) drive up the price some other team has to pay for him. If the Mets were super serious we’d be hearing about competitive offers on similar terms to that of the competition. Not three-year deals when he wants four or five. Not one-year opt-outs when he is on record saying that he wants to be in New York.

Cespedes is clearly using the Mets as a stalking horse too, of course. It’s business for everyone involved, not just the Mets. But I will refuse to believe that the Mets are invested in brining Cespedes back until the very moment there is a confirmed report that they have a deal with him.

The Orioles press conference to announce the Chris Davis signing was . . . weird

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Chris Davis reached an agreement with the Orioles on a new deal several days ago and, yesterday, formally signed the seven-year, $161 million pact. Given that this was, by far, the biggest move of the Orioles’ offseason, there was a press conference about it. Which, hey, why not? Other than hunker down for a blizzard the Orioles probably didn’t have anything else to do yesterday.

Still, it was kind of odd to see this at the press conference:

 

Normally you only see the “put-on-the-jersey” part of a press conference when it’s a player signing with a new team. Davis, of course, has played for the Orioles since being traded to them by the Rangers in the middle of the 2011 season. We know what he looks like in these duds. He’s not changing his number or anything. It was just . . . odd. Davis probably felt that way too. After this photo was taken he said “feels familiar.”

What’s next? A jersey ceremony for an early contract extension? For a one-year deal avoiding arbitration? The possibilities are as many as there are types of transactions, I suppose.

Oh well, they can do what they want. No matter how they introduce Davis, they will pay him salaries of $23 million annually with $6 million of it each year deferred without interest. When the deal is done he’ll get 10 payments of $3.5 million each between 2023-32 and five payments of $1.4 million each year between 2033-37, when Davis is 51. I’ll be 64-years-old then. God, time flies. God I’m old.

This is likely it for the Orioles this offseason. Their big moves: signing Davis, having Matt Wieters accept the team’s qualifying offer and signing Darren O'Day to a four-year, $31 million contract. I can’t recall if Wieters or O’Day had put-on-the-jersey press conferences, but I don’t think they did.