After being one of the most reliable relievers in baseball from 2012 to 2017, Trevor Rosenthal has been almost impossibly bad this season for the Nationals and Tigers. But the Yankees are taking a shot that his upside can again be reached.
Rosenthal, who elected free agency on Aug. 11 after a brief stint with the Tigers, has agreed to a minor league deal with the Yankees, Joel Sherman of the New York Post confirmed.
The 29-year-old Rosenthal has posted a 13.50 ERA and 2.41 WHIP with 17 strikeouts in 15.1 innings this season with the Nats and Tigers, during what is his first year back after undergoing Tommy John surgery late in the 2017 season.
A deeper dive into Rosenthal's advanced numbers show that he has been a bit unlucky (his FIP is 6.87), but his astronomical walk rate of 15.3 per 9 is impossible to defend.
As far as Rosenthal's stuff goes, his velocity is still there. He is averaging 98 MPH on his fastball (it averaged 98.4 MPH in 2017) and averaging 88.1 MPH with his cutter (right around his career average).
The Yankees have really nothing to lose with the addition of Rosenthal. If he somehow turns it around, he'll give them another option for a bullpen that is already loaded.
Rosenthal's best season came in 2015, when he saved 48 games for the Cardinals, had a 2.10 ERA, and struck out 83 batters in 68.2 innings.
If Rosenthal can simply bring his walks down to an acceptable level, the Yankees could have an intriguing piece on their hands -- whether he only helps out in September or is called up early enough to be eligible for the postseason.
In order for Rosenthal to be eligible for the postseason roster, he will have to be promoted to the majors before Sept. 1.