We are less than two weeks away from pitchers and catchers reporting to spring training. The Angels can head into camp with their current group of players, but there is still room for improvement. One free-agent worth consideration is reliever Trevor Rosenthal.
After struggling in his return from Tommy John surgery in the 2019 season, Rosenthal made his case for Comeback Player of the Year last summer.
The 30-year old regained his All-Star form as a member of the Royals and was later traded to the Padres.
Trevor Rosenthal Last Six Seasons:
- 2015: (68 games) 2.10 ERA 1.267 WHIP 10.9 K/9 (All-Star)
- 2016: (45 games) 4.46 ERA 1.909 WHIP 12.5 K/9
- 2017: (50 games) 3.40 ERA 1.196 WHIP 14.3 K/9
- 2018: (DNP-Tommy John Surgery)
- 2019: (22 games) 13.50 ERA 2.413 WHIP 10 K/9
- 2020: (23 games) 1.90 ERA 0.845 WHIP 14.5 K/9
We’ve already seen some big names like Liam Hendriks and Brad Hand sign, leaving Rosenthal near the top of the current free-agent reliever list.
After acquiring Raisel Iglesias in a trade earlier this offseason, the Angels were reportedly still showing interest in the reliever market. Rosenthal would compliment a 1-2 punch with Iglesias at the end of ballgames.
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Angels Active Relievers (2020 Statistics):
- RHP Raisel Iglesias (22 games) 2.74 ERA 0.913 WHIP
- RHP Ty Buttrey (27 games) 5.81 ERA 1.405 WHIP
- LHP Alex Claudio (20 games) 4.26 ERA 1.263 WHIP
- RHP Mike Mayers (29 games) 2.10 ERA 0.900 WHIP
- RHP Felix Pena (25 games) 4.05 ERA 1.313 WHIP
- LHP Patrick Sandoval (9 games) 5.65 ERA 1.336 WHIP
- RHP Luke Bard (6 games) 6.75 ERA 1.313 WHIP
- RHP Jose Alberto Rivera DNP
Trevor Rosenthal is an affordable reliever who would solidify the backend of the Angels bullpen.
Rosenthal wouldn’t cost much either. The right-hander is projected around two-years, $14 million. Following the new deal with Shohei Ohtani, the Angels have around ~$18 million on the 2021 payroll before the luxury tax penalty.
So far, all the moves made by general manager Perry Minasian have been low-risk and cost-effective. It doesn’t appear the Angels are all-in for this season, but the reality is this current group is probably one or two solid additions away from being competitive in the AL West.
Seeing as the team hasn’t acquired a traditional ace for their rotation, having a lockdown bullpen could pick up some of the slack of the Halos starters. If this current group can compete in the first half of the season, that could force the Angels ownership and front office to trade for an impact player.
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If the Halos can afford an impact reliever like Rosenthal, I see no harm in bringing him in. Odds are his deal would not be long-term, so he can be sold if the Angels fall out of contention.