Signed out of the Dominican Republic at 17 in November 2006, Rosa has played 1,154 games over 11 seasons in the Orioles’ minor league system. Save for a few games at Triple-A Norfolk, he’s been at Double-A Bowie since the 2013 season. He is the Baysox’s all-time leader in games (590), hits (650), RBIs (306), runs (273) and doubles (107). He played his 500th game as a Baysox on May 14.
Rosa, who turned 28 on Oct. 12, had a big 2017 season and was named the Eastern League MVP. He hit .310 with 24 doubles, two triples, 14 homers and 91 RBIs. He led the league in batting average, hits and RBIs.
But Rosa is now a pending minor league free agent and you have to wonder if he could be leaving the Orioles this time. He has been a minor league free agent after each of the last three seasons and each time he re-signed with Baltimore.
During the Eastern League playoffs, I asked Rosa about spending so much time in the O’s organization and so much time at Bowie. Baysox shortstop Erick Salcedo served as translator.
“I’ve been in this league a long time, but I do it for my family,” Rosa said. “The other 29 teams can see me here. My dream is to play in the big leagues one day, so I work hard. It can be frustrating playing so many years in Double-A, but I still feel I can play in the big leagues.
“I always signed back because I’ve had a good relationship with the coaches and the Orioles. I want to thank (Baysox manager) Gary Kendall for all his help. If I have to look at another team this winter, who knows?”
Rosa was the MVP of the Eastern League finals when Bowie won the league championship in 2015 over Reading. He hit two homers in the decisive fifth game. He has certainly provided defensive versatility, a solid bat and leadership for young players these past several seasons at Bowie.
We use the term “pending” minor league free agent right now because Rosa and others will not become actual free agents until five days after the World Series ends. Until then teams can re-sign their own minor league free agents, but not add others from other teams. The Orioles seem to have at least some level of interest in re-signing Rosa yet again, so we’ll see how that all plays out.
Here is the list of the other pending Orioles minor league free agents:
Aquino was designated for assignment by the Orioles on Sept. 5, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Triple-A Norfolk four days later. He went 3-10 with a 4.24 ERA in 21 starts for Norfolk. In four games for Baltimore (two starts) this past season, he went 1-2 with a 7.43 ERA.
Berry rejoined the Orioles organization in 2017, signing as a minor league free agent. In 36 games, mostly at Bowie, he went 4-1 with a 3.28 ERA.
Bundy has been an Oriole since the club selected him in the eighth round of the 2008 draft and is the older brother of Dylan Bundy. In 11 games in 2017, mostly at Bowie, he went 2-1 with a 6.75 ERA.
Davis has played for the club for seven seasons. In 92 games between Single-A Frederick and Bowie, he hit .256/.296/.375 with four homers and 37 RBIs.
The Orioles selected Garcia in the Rule 5 draft in December 2014 and he went 1-0 with a 4.25 ERA in 21 games for the Orioles in 2015. Last season at Bowie, the right-hander went 6-4 with a 5.26 ERA in 38 games.
McGough was claimed off waivers by the Orioles in April 2016. Last season, he went 3-4 with a 2.75 ERA between Bowie and Norfolk.
Pérez was acquired by the Orioles in March 2015 in a trade with Colorado for cash considerations. He has played three seasons in the organization. This season between Bowie and Norfolk, he hit .296/.327/.414 with two homers and 22 RBIs.
Aderlin Rodriguez, signed as a minor league free agent in January 2016, has hit 48 homers and driven in 169 runs the last two seasons. He played for Frederick in 2016 and for Bowie this year.
Richard Rodríguez pitched on the O’s farm the past three seasons. He made it briefly to the majors in September, going 0-0 with an ERA of 14.29 for the Orioles in 5 2/3 innings over five games. He was designated for assignment on Sept. 17, cleared waivers and was outrighted to Norfolk.
Wilson was drafted by the Orioles in the 10th round of the 2011 draft out of the University of Virginia. He has pitched for the big league club in parts of the last three seasons, going 8-10 with an ERA of 5.02 in 42 games, 19 as a starter.