The Nationals have reportedly made their initial free agent signing of the offseason, agreeing to a deal with former Cardinals reliever Trevor Rosenthal, MASNsports.com’s Mark Zuckerman has confirmed.
Rosenthal, 28, sat out last season while recovering from Tommy John surgery performed in August 2017. The right-hander went 3-4 with a 3.40 ERA in 2017 with the Cards, accruing 11 saves and striking out 76 batters in 47 2/3 innings.
His high-water seasons included 45 saves in 2014 and 48 saves in 2015. In 2015, he was a National League All-Star and received votes for NL Most Valuable Player.
Rosenthal has 121 saves in six major league seasons, all with St. Louis. He is 11-24 with a 2.99 ERA and 1.305 WHIP in 328 career games, with 435 strikeouts in 325 innings.
Having Rosenthal alongside current closer Sean Doolittle provides the Nats with a one-two punch for the late innings from the left and right sides, helping to retool a bullpen that at one time had Brandon Kintzler and Ryan Madson to help close out the final three innings of games.
Rosenthal is the second reliever added by the Nationals this offseason. Earlier this month, they traded with the Marlins, acquiring right-hander Kyle Barraclough.
Bob Nightengale of USA Today was first to report Rosenthal’s deal with the Nationals.