Eddie Rosario is a Better Value Than Cody Bellinger for Atlanta Braves
Eddie Rosario has a $9 million team option. Based on his performance this year, it seems like the Braves don't have a choice but to pick up the option. The free agent outfielder market has some nice options outside of Bellinger (explored here) but even they don't present the value that Rosario offers at his price point.
Rosario plays solid defense in left and has crossed the 20-homer threshold for the Braves this season. Rosario has a career .270 average and a .464 slugging percentage over nine seasons. He dealt with eye issues last season but will always be an Atlanta legend for his 2021 contributions. He has bounced back nicely in 2023 with an .801 OPS.
His above-average OPS is carried by his .481 slugging percentage because Eddie doesn't walk very much.
Eddie's numbers compare well with players like Jorge Soler and Joc Pederson, both of whom made about double Rosario's salary in 2023. The fact is, Eddie is too good of a deal to pass up at $9 million. Bellinger's streaky history is too big of a red flag for a massive multi-year deal. In fact, it's not even streaky. Bellinger's three straight bad years should be very concerning.
Boras is bragging about his age but that contract could be an albatross. It doesn't seem like a move Alex Anthopoulos would make. Rosario is the value play and the Braves need to focus on pitching.