Trevor Rosenthal is drawing a lot of interest, per Jon Heyman of MLB Network. After serving as one of the best relievers in baseball for many years, Rosenthal suffered a major setback when he required Tommy John surgery in 2017. That wiped out the remainder of that season and also prevented him from pitching at all in 2018. When he finally made it back to the hill in 2019, he didn’t seem to resemble his former self, registering a 13.50 ERA in 15 1/3 innings that year, a showing which included an ugly 30.6% walk rate.
While many people considered him cooked, he had a tremendous return to form in 2020. After signing a minor league deal with the Royals, he eventually had his contract selected and threw 13 2/3 innings with a 3.29 ERA and excellent 37.5% strikeout rate, though the walks were still present at a rate of 12.5%. After being traded to the Padres, he pitched another 10 innings without allowing a single earned run. His strikeout rate shot up to an incredible 48.6% and his walk rate dropped down to 2.9%.
In February of last year, the Athletics quite surprisingly outbid the field and gave Rosenthal a one-year, $11MM deal, a huge sum for a typically low-spending club. Unfortunately, the gamble backfired in a big way, as shoulder inflammation sent him to the IL in April, leading to surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome. Though he was hoping for a midseason return, hip surgery in July wiped out any chance of that. In the end, he wasn’t able to make a regular season appearance at all last year.
Despite that litany of injuries, it’s not surprising that Rosenthal is garnering plenty of interest, as he’s already shown himself capable of returning from the injury wilderness. His final line on the 2020 season between the Royals and Padres was 23 2/3 innings with a 1.90 ERA with a 41.8% strikeout rate and 8.8% walk rate. While a pessimist could say that he has only had a couple of good months over the past four seasons, there’s no denying that he was elite the last time he was healthy. After missing another full season due to injuries, he surely won’t be able to land a significant commitment in either years or dollars, meaning there should be plenty of teams interested in taking a low-cost flier that he can pull off a repeat of 2020.