The Washington Nationals agreed to terms on a one-year contract with a conditional option with right-handed pitcher Trevor Rosenthal on Saturday. Nationals President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Mike Rizzo made the announcement.
Rosenthal, 28, posted a 2.99 ERA and 121 saves in 328 appearances across six Major League seasons with the St. Louis Cardinals from 2012-17. During that stretch, he ranked among Major League relievers (min. 300.0 IP) in home runs allowed per nine innings (3rd, 0.47), strikeouts per nine innings (6th, 12.05) and strikeouts (9th, 435). From his first full professional season in 2013 through 2017, he was one of six Major League pitchers to record at least 120 saves and strike out at least 400 batters.
In 2017, Rosenthal went 3-4 with a 3.40 ERA and 76 strikeouts in 47.2 innings pitched while converting 11 of 13 save opportunities. He underwent “Tommy John” ligament-replacement surgery on Aug. 30, 2017 and missed the 2018 season recovering from that surgery.
A National League All-Star in 2015, Rosenthal led Major League Baseball with 93 saves during the 2014 and 2015 seasons. He broke the St. Louis Cardinals single-season save record in 2015 with 48 saves and in 2016, he became the youngest pitcher in Cardinals history (8th-youngest in MLB history) to reach the 100-save mark at 25 years, 10 months and 22 days.
Rosenthal appeared in 23 Postseason games from 2012-15, posting a 0.69 ERA (2 ER/26.0 IP) and seven saves. His 0.69 ERA is the second-lowest in Major League history among all pitchers with at least 20 Postseason appearances, while his 14.54 strikeouts per nine innings ranks first and his .165 opponent batting average ranks third.
A native of Lee’s Summit, Mo., Rosenthal was originally selected by the St. Louis in the 21st round of the 2009 First-Year Player Draft.