Trevor Rosenthal, Athletics Reportedly Agree to 1-Year, $11M Contract in FA

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistFebruary 18, 2021

San Diego Padres relief pitcher Trevor Rosenthal celebrates after the Padres defeated the St. Louis Cardinals 4-0 in Game 3 of a National League wild-card baseball series Friday, Oct. 2, 2020, in San Diego. The Padres advanced to the NL Division Series. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull)
Gregory Bull/Associated Press

The Oakland Athletics have reportedly agreed to a one-year, $11 million contract with veteran closer Trevor Rosenthal, according to MLB Network's Jon Heyman.  

ESPN's Jeff Passan reported Rosenthal was originally looking to sign a four-year deal but had to settle for a short-term offer because the market for relievers "cratered."

Rosenthal missed the entire 2018 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery. He returned in 2019 and had the worst year of his career, posting a 13.50 ERA over 15.1 innings. As a result, he had to settle for a minor league deal heading into the 2020 campaign.

The 30-year-old returned to form in 2020 between spells with the Kansas City Royals and San Diego Padres. He finished with a 2.22 FIP and averaged a personal-best 14.5 strikeouts per nine innings, according to FanGraphs.

Per Baseball Savant, opposing hitters had an expected weighted on-base average of .210 against Rosenthal, the third-lowest in all of MLB.

There's likely to be some level of regression in 2021 because stats can be a bit skewed in a shortened season. Even if the A's get the pre-Tommy John version of Rosenthal, this will have been a shrewd move.

The right-hander gives Oakland an upgrade at closer and a possible trade chip at the deadline if the team is out of the playoff hunt.

Kansas City got outfielder Edward Olivares and a player to be named later (minor league pitcher Dylan Coleman) when it flipped Rosenthal to San Diego last August. Olivares, 24, had a .240/.267/.375 slash line in 31 games for the Padres and Royals.

The one-year term on the contract also allows Rosenthal to cash in next offseason if he puts together another dominant year.