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.