Oakland A’s biggest offseason investment may go bust
By David Hill
The Oakland A’s did not exactly do much during the offseason until February. Then, they sprung into action, appearing to shore up their bullpen while adding solid depth to their roster. The A’s even emerged as the surprise winners of the Trevor Rosenthal Sweepstakes, signing the reliever to an $11 million contract, with $8 million deferred over the next two years.
Rosenthal, however, has yet to make his debut with the A’s. According to reports, that debut may take a lot longer than expected.
Oakland A’s investment in Trevor Rosenthal may bust
The A’s were hopeful that Rosenthal would be able to take over for Liam Hendriks, giving them another shutdown closer. He had posted an impressive 1.90 ERA and a 0.845 WHiP last season, notching 11 saves while striking out 38 batters in 23.2 innings. Based on those numbers, he was a worthwhile replacement for the A’s former All Star closer.
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But there were concerns. Rosenthal had Tommy John surgery in 2017, missing the entire 2018 campaign as he recovered. He was awful in 2019, bouncing through three different organizations as he attempted to find his way once more. Even before undergoing that procedure, Rosenthal had missed time due to shoulder woes.
This was a risk that the A’s felt they had to take. Even with Sergio Romo already on board, and potential closer of the future Lou Trivino, Oakland looked to have a better option as they pushed towards another postseason berth. He had appeared to be fully healthy and ready to dominate once more after his 2020 campaign.
Of all of the A’s moves, this was the one that they could not afford to err on. Rosenthal could have been a valuable piece, even if the A’s were out of contention at the trade deadline. Instead, he could remain on the books for another $8 million and only pitch for the final month of the season.
The Oakland A’s were hoping that Trevor Rosenthal would be a valuable member of the bullpen. Instead, their biggest signing may have gone bust.