The First Signing is Here: Former Cardinals Closer Trevor Rosenthal to the Nationals (UPDATE: One Year, Plus Option)

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The First Signing is Here: Former Cardinals Closer Trevor Rosenthal to the Nationals (UPDATE: One Year, Plus Option)

Chicago Cubs

As you know, free agents are not eligible to sign with new teams until Friday evening, but if they didn’t have a team at all last year, they can sign any day now.

Which means, we have our first signing of the offseason:

You can ignore that “anchor their bullpen” part, since that job is thoroughly Sean Doolittle’s, but there’s optimism that Rosenthal, post-Tommy John surgery, can get back to being a late-inning relief option. I’m surprised he has signed this quickly, but with a very deep free agent pool of relievers this year, he may have wanted to get a deal done as quickly as possible so as not to be left out in the cold late in the offseason as a guy without a recent track record.

Rosenthal, who is still only 28, was excellent in 2017 for the Cardinals before his elbow popped. Having rehabbed from surgery, and with another offseason of recovery available, he was always a lock to get a big league deal. Terms aren’t out yet, but I’d expect a one-year deal with lots of incentives, and maybe an option year if the Nationals are lucky.

UPDATE: As expected, it’s a one-year deal with an option – though the mutual option is a vesting option for Rosenthal (i.e., it becomes a player option at a certain threshold), and could be a very healthy one if Rosenthal is very healthy:

Given Rosenthal’s unique situation, on first glance, this looks like a smart deal for both sides. If Rosenthal is healthy and great, he gets paid well for two years. If he’s a flop, the Nationals are on the hook for only $7 million total in the first year.



Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.