Top prospect Amed Rosario is the shortstop of the future for the New York Mets. Now, he officially is a member of the organization’s 40-man roster.
At the deadline to shield eligible prospects from next month’s Rule 5 draft, the Mets added Rosario as well as catcher Tomas Nido, outfielder Wuilmer Becerra and right-handers Chris Flexen and Marcos Molina to the roster on Friday.
Nido was due to participate in the Arizona Fall League, but an oblique injury sidelined him. Becerra arrived with Noah Syndergaard and Travis d'Arnaud in the trade for R.A. Dickey. Molina just posted a 3.78 ERA in the AFL. Flexen was in trade talks with the Reds for Jay Bruce, but Max Wotell ultimately went to Cincinnati instead.
The Mets' 40-man roster is temporarily full, so a move would need to be made to make any offseason additions. Left exposed includes reliever Paul Sewald and AFL participant Champ Stuart, an outfielder.
Rosario, who turns 21 on Sunday, hit a combined .324/.374/.459 with Class A St. Lucie and Double-A Binghamton in 2016. He earned the promotion to the Eastern League in late June. Rosario stole 19 bases in 27 attempts.
“I got to do a lot of development. Just based off that, I would call it an excellent year,” Rosario said through an interpreter. “... It didn’t seem like any big adjustment.”
Rosario represented the Mets in the Futures Game last summer in San Diego. He also was tabbed the organization’s co-minor league player of the year, sharing the honor with Brandon Nimmo.
The Mets had handed Rosario a $1.75 million signing bonus back in 2012 -- the largest figure ever awarded by the organization to an international teenager. Rosario indicated that the Rays, White Sox and Cardinals were the other teams to most seriously pursue him.
With Asdrubal Cabrera coming off a solid season and signed for $8.25 million for 2017, and with Reyes also on the major league squad, Rosario may not reach the majors before September’s roster expansion. As a member of the 40-man roster, though, he will be in big-league camp during spring training with an opportunity to impress.
The Mets do have a team option on Cabrera for $8.5 million for 2018 as well.
There once had been questions about the 6-foot-2 Rosario outgrowing shortstop because of his size. That no longer appears an issue.
“He’s a great talent -- an exciting player on offense and defense at a premium position,” a National League scout said. “Rosario is going to be a very good big-league player for a long time provided he stays healthy.”