Are Mondesi and Rosario good options?
Mondesi, 26, is a very intriguing player. He has a strong combination of power and speed and is relatively athletic at the shortstop position. But he also struggles to stay healthy and strikes out more than teams would prefer. In fact, Royals president of baseball operations Dayton Moore expressed concern whether or not Mondesi would ever be able to play more than 100 games.
With Bobby Witt Jr. now in the majors, and Whit Merrifield under contract and Nicky Lopez another infield candidate, it could make Mondesi expendable. That said, his numbers entering the week have actually been worse than DeJong, as he is hitting only .136/.174/.136 with zero home runs, two RBI and an OPS+ of -6.
Rosario, 26, was acquired by the Guardians in the Francisco Lindor trade and would be a much better option than DeJong or Mondesi. Last season, he hit .282/.321/.409 with 11 home runs and 57 RBI. This season, he is hitting .250/.300/.304 with zero home runs and five RBI while producing an 82 OPS+, which is slightly below league average.
He is relatively affordable – he’s earning $4.95 million this season – and is signed through 2023. The Guardians have a decent amount of infield depth, so it’s possible that he becomes expendable, and it’s hard to imagine that the price tag will be that expensive to acquire him via trade.
Both options come with positives and negatives. But if the Cardinals do decide to move on from DeJong, pursuing Rosario would be a much more wise decision than pursuing Mondesi. It just remains to be seen if the Guardians make Rosario available.