The Giants announced to reporters, including NBC Sports Bay Area’s Alex Pavlovicthat they signed Trevor Rosenthal to a one-year, $4.5 million contract. John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle indicates that there are performance bonuses worth $1 million based on games played. In a next tweet, Shea provides details on bonuses based on appearances, while adding that there is an additional $1 million available based on completed games. Rosenthal will receive $50,000 if he appears in 15 games and then again after his 18th game. He will receive $150,000 after 23 games, $200,000 at age 28, $250,000 at age 33 and $300,000 at age 38. As for matches completed, it will be $100,000 for 12 matches, $150,000 for 15, followed by $250,000 each after completing 18, 21, and 24 matches.
Rosenthal currently has a strained hamstring and is in rehab in Arizona, per pavlovic. He has already been placed on the IL and will not need an active place on the list, for Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chroniclewhich adds that the corresponding move to get Rosenthal on the 40-man list is that Mauricio Llovera was transferred to the 60-day injured list.
Rosenthal was one of baseball’s best relievers for many seasons, but he’s been on a roller coaster for a few years. From 2012 to 2017, he played in 328 games with a 2.99 ERA, 31.2% strikeout rate and 10.3% walk rate. He racked up 121 saves and 46 catches during that span
Unfortunately, Tommy John’s surgery put a stop to that and wiped out his entire 2018 season. He returned in 2019 but walked a whopping 30.6% of batters faced over a 15 1/3 inning streak. After that disastrous comeback, he had to settle for a minor league contract with the Royals for 2020. He got the train back on track so well that the Royals were able to send him back to the Padres at the deadline of Edward Olivares. Rosenthal finished the shortened season with a 1.90 ERA in 23 2/3 innings, with an incredible strikeout rate of 41.8 percent.
Based on that comeback, Oakland signed him to a one-year, $11 million deal for the 2021 season. However, a groin strain kept him on the shelf early in the season. year, and he then had to have surgery for thoracic outlet syndrome, wiping out yet another entire season.
Rosenthal had a showcase over a month ago to show he was back to good health. The Giants were obviously impressed with his progress, based on the fact that they were ready to push through a big change despite Rosenthal currently being injured. On the one hand, Rosenthal is capable of being an elite reliever, but on the other hand, he has thrown less than 40 total innings over the past five seasons.
The Giants have run into some bullpen issues this year, which makes it pretty understandable that they’re willing to think outside the box to find answers. Notably, Jake McGee, who saved 31 games for them last year, had a 7.17 ERA this year and was released last week. Overall, the club’s relievers have a 4.19 ERA, placing the club 23rd in the majors. If Rosenthal can regain their health, he can give them a long-lasting boost.
As for Llovera, he was placed on the IL a few days ago due to a strained flexor. Based on today’s transfer, it looks like the club don’t expect him to be able to return until mid-September at the earliest.