Amed Rosario chooses Rays over Yankees, and it is working out well

Amed Rosario chooses Rays over Yankees, and it is working out well

NEW YORK — Amed Rosario could have been on the other side of Yankee Stadium on Friday.

When the seven-year big-league veteran was unsigned into spring training, he was weighing offers from both the Rays and Yankees.

New York offered more money, a reported $4 million. Tampa Bay guaranteed him only $1.5 million, with another $500,000 in plate appearances, but more playing time.

Rosario, 28, opted for the Rays. That he had a home in Tampa helped, but Rosario wanted the chance to play. The Rays were providing it in terms of starts at second base and/or rightfield against left-handed pitchers, plus other opportunities.

“It was how I thought they were going to use me,” Rosario said, via team interpreter Manny Navarro. “(The negotiations) didn’t last that long, maybe just a couple of days. It was a decision that had to happen quick, so that’s why I made it.”

The Rays, obviously, are glad he did. Rosario through the first three weeks has been one of their most productive hitters, posting a .333 average, two homers, 10 RBIs and an .858 OPS that is second on the team while playing in 19 of their 21 games. He also has an 11-game hitting streak, the longest active streak in the American League.

“Very pleased,” manager Kevin Cash said. “He’s helped us offensively, defensively, on the bases. I’ll make sure to remind him and tell him thanks for signing with us.

“What a bright spot he’s been in our lineup with the way that he has put pressure on pitchers and just had good at-bat after good at-bat.”

New York state of mind

Outfielder Richie Palacios has much to be excited about this weekend, including returning to his New York City home, playing for the first time at Yankee Stadium (and going 2-for-4 with a homer), getting to see hundreds of relatives and friends, and eating as much pizza as he can.

Palacios, 26, said he went to many Yankees games as a kid, including some he and his brother, Josh, were taken out of school by their dad to attend.

“We have a lot more memories in old Yankee Stadium (which closed after the 2008 season),” he said. “We had a lot better seats there, because it was a lot more affordable. We were right there, like, behind home plate when we were younger, right in the action. The new Yankee Stadium I went to a couple of times when I got older.”

Catcher Ben Rortvedt also was enjoying his return to Yankee Stadium, having spent about 2½ months of last season in pinstripes.

Rortvedt, acquired in a late-spring trade, said he was looking forward to catching up with some former teammates, mentioning potential Saturday night plans with catcher Austin Wells and shortstop Anthony Volpe.

“It’s going to be fun seeing them,” Rortvedt said.


After playing all 182⅓ innings of the Rays’ first 20 games in centerfield, Jose Siri was not in the lineup Friday but pinch ran in the ninth inning. Randy Arozarena made his fifth career start in center, his first since 2019 with St. Louis. …. Friday’s first-pitch temperature was 51 degrees. … The Rays rapped a season-high 14 hits. ... Outfielder Josh Lowe, whose initial rehab start was rained out Thursday, went 0-for-3 with a walk for Triple-A Durham on Friday and played nine innings in centerfield. He has been sidelined since spring training with a right oblique strain. … The Rays dropped to 7-2 in games decided by two or one run. … Zach Eflin starts for the Rays on Saturday with a career 3-1, 1.86 record against the Yankees, including 2-0, 3.00 in the Bronx. … The Yankees will hold a pregame ceremony Saturday honoring retiring radio broadcaster John Sterling, with some former players, such as Tino Martinez, in attendance.

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