Four Risk/Reward Free Agents for the Red Sox
By Rick McNair
The Cardinals have sent Trevor Rosenthal into the talent pool after handing him or his agent Rosenthal’s release. Now, why give up on a pitcher who is just 27-years-old and throws absolute bullets. In 2017 Rosenthal had a Craig Kimbrel like 14.3 BB/9 in 50 games. The key is for 2018 those bullets will be powder puffs since Rosenthal underwent TJ Surgery and may not see the mound in 2018.
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This is the risk/reward or let’s really take a chance at its very best. A right-handed flame thrower who averaged 98.4 (V) on his fastball that was a slight tick from being the fastest in the National League. Twice in his career, Rosenthal had exceeded 40 saves, so he can be a formidable bullpen piece.
The downside in Rosenthal’s pitching history is walks – isn’t it always? Last season a 3.8 BB/9 and a career 4.0 BB/9. In 2016 this cost Rosenthal his role as closer to a season in which his 6.5 BB/9 made Henry Owens look like a control expert.
Rosenthal also does Rick Porcello when it comes to gifting hitters with long balls since Rosenthal has a 0.5 HR/9 for his career and a GB% that is above 50. Not bad. So, what happens?
Rosenthal will be offered a contract somewhere and it will be one that will give Rosenthal and his new team some leverage. The 2018 season may be one of rehabilitation with a focus on a late-season sample on the mound. Will be Red Sox pay for someone to sit? Well, the Pablo Sandoval situation answers unproductive money.
This is also with an eye on the current bullpen ace – Kimbrel. Kimbrel will be a free agent after 2018 and maybe Rosenthal could represent an option to a long-term deal for Kimbrel.