The Detroit Tigers have signed right-handed reliever Trevor Rosenthal to a minor league contract, according to a report from MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. Rosenthal signed a one-year deal with the Washington Nationals last fall after missing the entire 2018 season, but was released last week after allowing 16 runs in 12 appearances with the Nationals.
Rosenthal was previously an All-Star closer with the St. Louis Cardinals. He notched 121 saves in six seasons with the Cardinals, and managed a 2.99 ERA in 325 innings. He struck out 435 batters to 143 walks, and produced 5.9 rWAR. He made the 2015 National League All-Star team, and finished 17th in NL MVP voting that year.
Unfortunately, those years may be long gone. Rosenthal missed the entire 2018 season after having Tommy John surgery in August 2017. He signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Nationals last November, but was a trainwreck in the Nats’ bullpen, to put it lightly. Rosenthal walked 15 hitters and gave up 16 runs in just 6 1⁄3 innings in Washington. He didn’t even record an out until his fifth appearance of the season, a story that received national attention for all the wrong reasons. He made it through a full inning in each of his next three appearances, but also gave up five runs during that stretch, so the Nationals sent him to the minors to get right. He struck out 11 hitters in 9 1⁄3 innings with Double-A Harrisburg... but also gave up a 5.79 ERA.