MLB trade deadline: Every GM hoping to find this year’s Eddie Rosario

Jul 13, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Eddie Rosario (8) hits a double against the New York Mets in the fourth inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 13, 2022; Atlanta, Georgia, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Eddie Rosario (8) hits a double against the New York Mets in the fourth inning at Truist Park. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports /
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There’s an avalanche of talk this week about what each team needs at the MLB trade deadline to put it over the top in the pennant race. But at the end of the day, what each team needs can be boiled down to two words: Eddie Rosario.

Not literally Eddie Rosario, because he has been hurt most of the season and the Atlanta Braves would be trading him at the worst possible time to get any value out of him, even if they wanted to get rid of him.

But every general manager is having fever dreams this week as the MLB trade deadline draws near of pulling off what the Atlanta Braves did last year.

Specifically, Rosario was having a terrible season for Cleveland, so the now-Guardians gave him to Atlanta just to clear his salary off the books. Normally when you read that someone was given away in a trade, you assume they don’t mean that literally but, in this case, Cleveland traded Rosario for Pablo Sandoval, then released Sandoval before the end of the day.

Atlanta made a bunch of moves near the deadline, and Rosario was far from the biggest. But none of them got much attention because the Braves hit the trade deadline with a 51-54 record, barely in the conversation for a Wild Card berth. From there, though, the Braves went 37-19, and Rosario, as streaky a hitter as there is in MLB, was a big reason why. He was injured for most of August but, over the last 33 games, he posted an OPS of .903, then he went nuts in the postseason, especially in the NLCS, batting .560 with 14 hits and nine RBI in just six games.

There are some obvious moves that will be made before August 2’s deadline. Willson Contreras will get moved to the highest bidder. Oakland will have a yard sale. Middle relievers that you never heard of will suddenly be treated like prime commodities. Maybe something will happen with Juan Soto. And sure, every GM would love to have Soto dropped into his lap, but maybe five out of 30 have the wherewithal to make that happen, and for those that do, trading for Soto is like throwing all your chips in when you have four aces in your hand.

But what GMs fantasize about is pulling a guy like Eddie Rosario off some other team’s scrap heap the day before he starts the biggest hot streak of his career, and having that guy carry your team through a pennant race and a World Series.

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Eddie Rosario will not end up in the Hall of Fame, and 20 years from now his name might only come up among Braves fans and trivia buffs. But every general manager with a chance to make the playoffs is using every good luck charm he can think of to come up with his own Eddie Rosario.