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Mock Trade: How Sending Amed Rosario To St. Louis Could Help Cleveland

Trading Amed Rosario to the Cardinals could fill needs for both teams.

Even though it's only May, it's never too early to start talking about the trade deadline and speculating about some potential deals that could happen before it arrives. One deal I think worth exploring could be sending Amed Rosario to the St. Louis Cardinals.

Amed Rosario’s tenure with Cleveland has been full of uncertainty. After coming to Northeast Ohio as part of the trade that sent Francisco Lindor to the New York Mets, Rosario's fit in Cleveland has never been quite right. 

In 2021, the coaching staff first tried playing Rosario in center field which proved to be a struggle defensively and offensively. But when he went back to his natural position of shortstop, Rosario took off offensively hitting .281 in 2021.

This season Rosario has tried playing both left field and shortstop, but it has become very clear that shortstop is where Rosario feels most comfortable. However, with this breakout season from Andres Gimenez and a surplus of middle infielders on the doorstep of the Major Leagues, there may not be a spot for Rosario in this team’s future. 

This is where the St. Louis Cardinals come into play.

The Cardinals just sent down their shortstop, Paul DeJong mainly because his bat has just not been there this season. DeJong has never been known for his offense, but this season it has been pretty rough. Before being sent down, he was hitting .130 with only a .208 OBP.

As of this writing of this, the Cardinals are only three games back of the Milwaukee Brewers for first place in the NL Central. They have shown that their roster is good enough to compete for the division crown (or at the least one of the Wild Card spots). Especially with the futures of Adam Wainwright, Yondier Molina and Albert Pujols uncertain, it would make sense for the organization to make a win-now move like acquiring Amed Rosario for a playoff push. 

So, what would the Cardinals be willing to give up?

Option 1: The Prospects

One package, if the Guardians want to take the prospect approach, could be pitcher Gordon Graceffo and outfielder Jhon Torres

Graceffo is currently in High-A with the Peoria Chiefs and has a 1.13 ERA over seven games and 39.2 innings of work. The 22-year-old is expected to reach the Big Leagues by 2024, which would give the Guardians an opportunity to help develop him. 

It would be quite ironic for Cleveland to trade for Torres, since they were the ones who originally signed him out of Columbia in 2016. He was part of the deal that sent Oscar Mercado to Cleveland. Torres is also in Peoria and is expected to make his debut in 2023. During his minor league career, he has a .257 average and a .752 OPS. 

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Option 2: Major League Outfielder

If the Guardians were determined to get a Major League level talent instead, one player they could try to convince the Cardinals to give up is Tyler O’Neill. O’Neill has struggled this season only batting .195, but has shown flashes of potential in the past. 

Last season, he hit .286 with a .912 OPS. The Guardians need some more outfield depth and the Cardinals need middle infield depth, so doing a straight-up swap of O’Neill for Rosario could make sense for both sides. 

Giving up Rosario may be difficult considering he was a big piece of the Lindor deal. But sending him to a team where he could play his natural position would make the most sense for him and it could certainly put Cleveland in a position to get better.

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