The Washington Nationals parted ways with right-handed reliever Trevor Rosenthal, but the 29-year old probably won’t be out of a job for long. Just about every team in the league could use another reliever, and there aren’t enough good ones to go around. Rosenthal struggled in Washington but he was a valuable reliever as recently as 2017. Someone’s going to take the risk, but which teams are most likely to roll the dice on Rosenthal?
Possible Trevor Rosenthal Landing Spots
Boston Red Sox
This one is obvious. The unit looks good on paper, as the Red Sox bullpen ranks 10th in ERA, 7th in FIP, and 7th in fWAR. However, the unit is carried by Matt Barnes and needs more depth if they are to repeat as World Series champions. The back of the bullpen consists of guys like Ryan Weber, Josh Smith, and Travis Lakins, and each one of those guys leaves a lot to be desired.
Barnes and Marcus Walden comprise a great late-inning duo, but they need a third piece. As of this posting, the Red Sox lead the American League with 15 blown saves. Rosenthal has closing experience, as he recorded a combined 93 saves from 2014 to 2015. He’s not that type of guy anymore, but his experience could be exactly what Boston needs.
Just like the Red Sox, the Philadelphia Phillies are in desperate need of bullpen help. As of this posting, Philadelphia’s relievers have a combined 4.73 ERA, 5.01 FIP, and a 4.68 xFIP. That’s not great! This hasn’t been a one-person problem, as Hector Neris is the only reliever on the team to pitch more than 10 innings with a FIP below 3.50.
Rosenthal might not have anything left in his tank, but it won’t hurt Philadelphia to roll the dice. In a best-case scenario, the Phillies get a solid arm for pennies on the dollar. If it doesn’t work out, then they can just chalk it up as a loss and continue to peruse the market for bullpen help.
The Twins don’t have a bad bullpen, but they’re clearly in the market for a low-risk, high-reward arm. Minnesota recently signed Cody Allen to a minor league deal, and they could do the same thing with Trevor Rosenthal. The Twins have a series of solid relievers headlined by Taylor Rogers, Ryne Harper, and Trevor May. However, there’s no such thing as too many good relievers and the Twins are clearly all-in on trying to bring home a title during their surprisingly successful season.
Any Tanking Team
If teams in contention don’t make a move for Rosenthal, one of the teams on the outside looking in would be wise to sign him up. If Rosenthal starts pitching like his old self, any one of the teams could trade Rosenthal at the trade deadline and probably get something of value in return. While they shouldn’t expect a top-100 prospect in any exchange, teams building for the future can always use more reliable farm depth. Even if Rosenthal can’t find his old form, it’s not like any tanking team will care if he costs the franchise any wins. They’re not competing for anything and can cut their losses at any time without meaningful repercussions.
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