MLB free agency: Trevor Rosenthal reportedly close to deal with Nationals
The Washington Nationals are reportedly finalizing a deal with former St. Louis Cardinals reliever Trevor Rosenthal, according to Bob Nightengale of USA Today. Rosenthal missed the 2018 season following Tommy John surgery in August of 2017 but was throwing in the high-90s at his showcase on Oct. 3.
Rosenthal has had 121 saves in six seasons with the Cardinals (highlighted by 45 saves in 2014 and 48 saves in 2015), and he is 11-24 with a 2.99 ERA and 1.305 WHIP in 328 career games, with 435 strikeouts in 325 innings. In 2015, Rosenthal was a National League All-Star and received votes for NL Most Valuable Player.
It’s not clear what type of role Rosenthal would have in Washington, but reports suggest that he’ll “anchor the bullpen.” It’s also worth noting that the Nationals’ pitching coach is former Cardinals pitching coach Derek Lilliquist. Rosenthal probably won’t be getting a closer role with southpaw Sean Doolittle closing out games for the Nats, but there’s still a chance that Washington uses Rosenthal in a setup role.
In 2018, the Nationals’ bullpen ranked fourth in the NL and ninth in the majors in ERA at the All-Star break but everything went downhill once Doolittle was forced to head to the disabled-list with a stress reaction in his toe. With the reported Rosenthal signing and trade for reliever Kyle Barraclough earlier this month, the Nationals are taking the steps to revamp their bullpen for the 2019 season.
This offseason, the Nationals could take a look at pursuing more top-talent relievers like Adam Ottavino, Jeurys Familia or David Robertson. They also have two free agents in Kelvin Herrera and Greg Holland.
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