Reliever Trevor Rosenthal, designated for assignment Wednesday by the Tigers, has cleared waivers and elected free agency, the club reports.
Rosenthal began his disastrous 2019 campaign in Washington after signing a one-year deal that guaranteed him $7MM. The longtime St. Louis relief ace, who’d seen his command yo-yo between shaky and adequate in his six-year Cardinal tenure, suddenly couldn’t find the plate at all in his first appearances after a return from Tommy John. The 29-year-old walked a frightening 15 men in just 12 appearances (6 1/3 IP) for the club, many of which were cut short before even an out was recorded.
Another free-market go-round ended swiftly in late June when the righty agreed to a minor league pact with Detroit. Despite six hardly propitious outings at Triple-A Toledo, the Tigers added Rosenthal to their post all-star bullpen in hopes of a rebound. His first few outings were promising – Rosenthal walked just three and set down five in four one-inning appearances – but the wild hairs regrew as the weeks passed: the 2015 All-Star walked multiple batters in four different outings for the Tigers before his dismissal on Wednesday.
Rosenthal’s 98.0 MPH average fastball velocity is actually the second-highest of his career, though his bat-missing ways have mostly been teased out, at least compared to the sky-high rates of years bygone. There may still be a team or two out there who believes it can fix the righty this season, though perhaps it’s in the best interest of all involved to delay such a project ’til the outset of the 2020 campaign.