Trevor Rosenthal was supposed to be the answer for the Oakland A’s in 2021. He was signed to be their closer, with the A’s inking him to a heavily deferred contract worth $11 million. In theory, he was the perfect replacement for Liam Hendriks – a proven closer who could solidify the ninth inning and give the A’s exactly what they needed to get to the postseason.
So much for those plans. Rosenthal did not pitch at all last year as he ended up undergoing surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome and had hip surgery as he was attempting to make his way back. It is no surprise that he is still hanging out in free agency, waiting for a team to take a chance on his services.
Teams showing interest in Trevor Rosenthal
He may not have to wait much longer. According to Jon Heyman, there are several teams vying for his services, especially now that the relief pitching market is somewhat barren.
Rosenthal had an excellent showing in 2020 during the pandemic shortened season. He posted a 1.90 ERA and a 0.845 WHiP in his 23.2 innings, striking out 38 batters with just eight walks. He notched 11 saves as he re-established himself as a viable closer.
But he is still a major risk. Rosenthal missed part of the 2017 season and all of 2018 as he recovered from Tommy John surgery. He was also a disaster in 2019, posting a horrific 13.50 ERA and a 2.413 WHiP in his 15.1 innings, striking out 17 batters while issuing 28 walks. There was a span of four consecutive outings where Rosenthal did not record an out but managed to allow a run in that time as well.
At best, Rosenthal is a gamble. But he is also the type of gamble that could pay off for teams desperate for bullpen help. He may not attract much more than the minimum, if he even generates a major league contract, allowing him to be the perfect lottery ticket. Maybe the A’s will even look to bring him back, hoping to get something for the money they will be shelling out.
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Trevor Rosenthal is reportedly generating interest in free agency. He may be a gamble, but he is one that could conceivably pay off handsomely.