“Several teams” have been in touch with the Royals about right-hander Trevor Rosenthal, MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports (Twitter link). There seems to be enough interest in Rosenthal that “many expect” the veteran reliever to be moved prior to the August 31st trade deadline, Feinsand writes.
After missing 2018 due to Tommy John surgery and then struggling badly over 15 1/3 innings (with the Nationals and Tigers) last season, Rosenthal has seemingly gotten back to his old All-Star form in Kansas City. The 30-year-old has a tiny 0.87 ERA over 10 1/3 innings this season, recording six saves with a 3.50 K/BB rate and 12.2 K/9. While a .211 BABIP and a perfect 100% strand rate indicate that at least some regression is inevitable, Rosenthal’s fastball appears to be in prime form, with a 98mph velocity that actually tops his 97.5mph career average.
The Royals entered today’s action with a 11-15 record, five games back of Cleveland for second place in the AL Central and three games out of a wild card spot. As with all but a small handful of teams in this compressed season, the Royals might not have decided yet whether they’ll be buyers, sellers, or a combination of both, as one good week could get K.C. back over the .500 mark and more firmly in the postseason race.
On paper, Rosenthal seems like a logical trade candidate if the Royals did plan to sell. The 30-year-old is only under contract through the 2020 season, as per the terms of a minor league pact he signed last winter. Reaching Kansas City’s MLB roster locked in the prorated portion of a $2MM salary for Rosenthal, and with a month of games already in the books, a new team would only be on the hook for roughly $350K if they acquired Rosenthal at full price.
Could a trip to Miami be in Rosenthal’s future? MLB.com’s Jon Paul Morosi reported that the Marlins are looking at the Royals’ bullpen as part of their wide-ranging search for bullpen help prior to the deadline, and while Rosenthal’s name wasn’t specifically mentioned as a target, it’s logical to assume that the closer would be on Miami’s radar. Greg Holland is another veteran rental who would make sense as a K.C. trade chip, while hurlers like Josh Staumont or Scott Barlow would have a higher asking price due to their extra years of control.