Former Major League Baseball players Roger Bernadina and Wilin Rosario are looking for their next big league gigs, according to reports by ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick. They spent the past season on different teams in the Korea Baseball Organization and, as Crasnick points out, may be looking to resuscitate their careers in the U.S. à la backup-outfielder-turned-slugger Eric Thames.
Bernadina, 33, debuted with the Nationals in 2008 and cycled through several stints with the Phillies, Reds and Dodgers before hanging up his cleats after the 2014 season. The veteran outfielder capped his seven-year career in the majors with a .236/.307/.354 batting line, 28 home runs and a cumulative 1.2 fWAR and made his rounds in the minors for several years before picking up a gig with the Kia Tigers during the 2016 offseason.
The new hitting environment transformed his production levels in 2017. Bernadina slashed .320/.372/.540 through 621 PA with the Tigers in 2017, tacking on a career-best 27 home runs, eight triples and a .913 OPS.
Rosario, 28, was also successful overseas. He had a couple of decent years with the Rockies during his five-year stint in the big leagues, but found himself out of a job once Nick Hundley joined the club. Prior to the 2016 season, he packed up his .273/.306/.473 batting line and 71 career home runs and signed on with the Hanwha Eagles. The catcher/first baseman found KBO much more to his liking, producing 70 total home runs and a .300+ average in each of his two seasons with the team.
No teams have come forward with offers yet, and there’s no guarantee that either Bernadina or Rosario will find a suitable landing place before the start of the 2018 season. Rosario tried to stage a comeback last winter, but his lackluster stats and underwhelming performance behind the dish limited his options, and he eventually re-upped with the Eagles instead.