St. Louis Cardinals: Trevor Rosenthal’s future
By Dan Buffa
Will the newcomer from Korea share some of the late inning workload or is it all Rosie?
From Tom Knuppel(CardinalsGM):
If healthy all season I see 32 saves and a 2.87 ERA… I do believe OH will get some that normally go to Rosenthal. Also, I am believing they try to wrap up a contract for a few years with him. I don’t see him converting to a starter as long as he is with the Cardinals.
From Jon Doble(Redbird Dugout):
My projections for Trevor Rosenthal is that he probably posts an ERA of about 2.70, a WHIP around 1.30 and racks up another 40+ save season. But let’s be honest here, John Mozeliak went out and stacked his bullpen, but Mike Matheny is still a modern manager and a creature of habit. That means the closer gets the save opportunities.
Now, Kevin Siegrist or Seung-Hwan Oh may get the occasional save opportunity when we’re talking about the third day in a row, I could see them trying to avoid using Rosenthal three days in a row, but they won’t regularly be taking saves away from him. It wouldn’t surprise me either if there was some kind of understanding reached with Rosenthal as part of his accepting a long-term bullpen role.
I’m sure the Cardinals would love to give Rosenthal a multi-year deal, but since he’s represented by Scott Boras, it is likely an uphill battle.
How these deals usually work is the player trades a year or two of free agency in exchange for guaranteed money. We saw this with Kolten Wong’s extension. Right now, Rosenthal is primed to hit free agency at 28 years old. If he puts up three more years like the last two, he will be a highly sought after player. So, unless the Cardinals are willing to go big, I doubt there is much interest in getting tied up with the Cardinals right now.
On the team’s side, even just buying out the remaining arbitration years seems unlikely. There would be cost certainty, but the risk of injury to guys who throw that hard and the potential risk of flaming out like closers do, I think is enough to keep it from happening. Because of all of that, I’d be surprised if Rosenthal goes more than year-to-year with the Cardinals.
Rosenthal may or may not remain a closer for his entire career, but I do know that he will remain as a relief pitcher. There is just no precedent–and way too much injury risk involved–for moving an established reliever to the starting rotation.
The Cardinals won’t move him because he’s too valuable in his current role and they don’t need starting pitching. A new team is unlikely to sign him as a starter because of the injury risk associated with the increase in innings and nobody knows what he will do in the rotation either. If he wants to be a starter, he’ll need to basically eat a year to make the transition. And that’s not going to happen.
Next: Rosie will get his saves