The Padres have officially acquired right-handed reliever Trevor Rosenthal from the Royals, both teams have announced. Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic first reported that the two sides were nearing an agreement. AJ Cassavell of MLB.com reports that outfielder Edward Olivares is part of the return headed to Kansas City in the deal. In addition, a player to be named later will go to the Royals in the deal, per Mark Feinsand of MLB.com.
Rosenthal, 30, has emerged as one of the most sought-after relief pitchers on the trade market, representing a dramatic turnaround from a disastrous 2019 season—his return from Tommy John Surgery, which cost him the previous year—that saw him walk 26 batters in just 15 1/3 innings of work.
However, it seems that Rosenthal has for the most part returned to the form that made him an All-Star closer with the Cardinals in the first leg of his career. He’s grounded his walk numbers while striking out as many batters as ever, and he’s boasting a nice 3.29 ERA to match.
The Royals brought Rosenthal aboard as a minor-league signing last winter, and they’ve parlayed that low-cost acquisition into a nice payoff, not only getting 13 games of solid pitching from Rosenthal, but now acquiring a pair of pieces (the second of which remains unknown) that are more in line with the organization’s long-term outlook.
Rosenthal will join the Padres with the expectation that he’ll bolster a Padres bullpen that’s been worn down by injuries to Kirby Yates and Drew Pomeranz. Emilio Pagan and Craig Stammen have struggled to fill Yates’s shoes, and for the first time in years the Padres find themselves in position to make a win-now move to strengthen their best roster in recent memory. Rosenthal is only under contract through this year, so he’s a true rental, but his acquisition addresses a glaring need for San Diego.
Rosenthal, who by making the Royals’ MLB roster secured a $2MM base salary for the season, is only owed about $350K for the remainder of the year (due to prorated salaries and roughly half the season in the books), so there’s little obligation on San Diego’s end, outside of the prospect capital required to bring Rosenthal aboard.
The 24-year-old Olivares will depart the Padres after getting his first shot at the big leagues this year. Originally acquired from the Blue Jays in 2018, Olivares has forged a solid minor-league track record, including a 2019 season in which he slugged 18 home runs and stole 35 bases at the Double-A level. To start this year, he’s hit just .176/.222/.294 for the Padres, but he’s still just 34 at-bats into his Major League career.