As noted here at MLBTR earlier this morning, the Royals organization has been weighing how to handle the March 26 opt-out dates that were negotiated into the minor league contracts of Rosenthal and fellow righty Greg Holland. Several other clubs have agreed to push opt-out dates back until exhibition play resumes, although in Rosenthal’s case, it seems his strong spring showing was impressive enough that Kansas City opted to add him to the roster right now rather than risk him triggering the preexisting clause.
By having his contract selected, Rosenthal will lock in a reported $2MM base salary. The Scott Boras client’s deal was also reported to come with an additional $2.25MM via performance bonuses.
Rosenthal was lights out prior to the spring shutdown, hurling five shutout innings with just three hits allowed. Most importantly, he didn’t issue a walk and punched out nine hitters. For a once-elite reliever who missed 2018 due to Tommy John surgery and saw his control completely evaporate in 2019 — 42 walks, nine hit batters in 30 1/3 innings between the big leagues and the minors — that lack of free passes was a particularly heartening development. Of course, incoming Royals skipper Mike Matheny is plenty familiar with what Rosenthal brings to the table when at his best; Matheny was Rosenthal’s skipper for the hard-throwing righty’s peak seasons in St. Louis.
Skoglund, 27, has appeared in 27 games for the Royals across the past three seasons but hasn’t found much success in the Majors. In 109 innings at the big league level, Skoglund has a 6.61 ERA with 5.5 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 and 1.6 HR/9 along the way. The southpaw was solid in his first run through the Triple-A level back in 2017 — 4.11 ERA, 9.1 K/9, 2.6 BB/9 in 100 1/3 frames — but he’s struggled in his past two seasons with the Royals’ top affiliate in Omaha as well. Overall, Skoglund has a 4.87 ERA and a 151-to-46 K/BB ratio in 172 Triple-A innings.
The Royals still have a decision to make on Holland — who starred in the Kansas City bullpen during the club’s renaissance several years back. Like Rosenthal, Holland has seen his career take a turn for the worse following Tommy John surgery and that procedure’s arduous rehab process, but he’s looked solid in his own right during Cactus League play; in six innings he’s surrendered three runs but just five hits and a walk while racking up eight strikeouts.