Sports Illustrated released their top 50 free agent predictions, and they have the Pittsburgh Pirates making a lone signing.
The prediction isn’t to help a thin starting rotation or to fill a glaring need at first base. Instead, SI has the Pirates landing infielder Amed Rosario, their No. 37 free agent.
Rosario, who turns 28 later this month, is a former top prospect of the Mets. He peaked as high as the fifth-best prospect in baseball on MLB Pipeline’s Top 100 prospects in 2017.
Now with seven years as a big leaguer under his belt, Rosario hasn’t quite lived up to the hefty expectations surrounding him. He’s split his major league career between the Mets, Guardians and Dodgers. Rosario was part of the 2021 blockbuster that sent Francisco Lindor to Flushing Queens.
In 839 career games, Rosario has compiled a .272/.308/.400 slash line. He’s recorded 139 doubles, 43 triples, 60 home runs, 334 RBIs and 96 stolen bases.
The bulk of Rosario’s defensive work has come at shortstop, though he hasn’t played particularly well there. In 752 games at short, Rosario has accumulated minus-39 defensive runs saved, an average of minus-seven DRS per season.
After he was acquired by the Dodgers before the 2023 trade deadline, Rosario shifted to second base, where he performed much better. In 36 games at second with Los Angeles, Rosario had three DRS and didn’t commit a single error in 84 chances.
Second base would be what the Pirates would be looking for Rosario to play with the left side of the infield occupied by Ke’Bryan Hayes and Oneil Cruz.
The Pittsburgh Pirates currently have a plethora of young middle infielders as options at second base. Those options include Ji-hwan Bae, Jared Triolo, Liover Peguero and Nick Gonzales.
If the Pirates do look to bring a veteran player into the mix, Rosario could be of interest. Other free agent options include Tim Anderson and Whit Merrifield.
SI’s full list of free agent predictions can be found HERE.