The San Diego Padres’ bullpen has been hit hard this season.
Injuries? Underperformance? Fatigue? All of the above describe the bullpen perfectly.
Now, as the 2020 Trade Deadline approaches, A.J. Preller has swung a deal to drop a care package on a bullpen that desperately needs it.
The San Diego Padres are in agreement on a deal to acquire reliever Trevor Rosenthal from Kansas City, sources tell ESPN. Arguably the best reliever on the market is headed to the Padres, whose beleaguered bullpen will get a huge boost from a revitalized Rosenthal.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) August 29, 2020
Trevor Rosenthal, one of the hottest commodities on the trade market, has been acquired by the San Diego Padres from the Kansas City Royals. San Diego will be sending outfielder Edward Olivares and a player to be named later to the Royals.
After signing a minor league contract with Kansas City, Rosenthal earned a spot on the roster after impressing the Royals’ front office in Spring Training. In 13.2 innings of relief, Rosenthal pitched to a 3.29 ERA, 3.74 FIP, 3.41 xFIP, and a 3.11 SIERA.
So far, Statcast seems to like his return to form as well thanks to a lower walk rate and higher strikeout numbers than ever before. Thanks to a fastball that has hit a career-high 98 MPH, batters have swung at 45.1 percent of Rosenthal’s offerings while whiffing at a career-high 14.2 percent of strikes.
Rosenthal rose to prominence as a member of the St.Loius Cardinals and pitched in the 2013 World Series against the Boston Red Sox. Rosenthal took over the closer job in 2014, and his 48 saves in 2015 earned him his first and only All-Star appearance.
Tommy John surgery forced Rosenthal to miss out on the entire 2018 season and saw him get released from the Cardinals. Rosenthal caught on with the Washington Nationals, but a disastrous 12 games led to his release.
Injuries to Andres Munoz, Trey Wingenter, and Kirby Yates have rocked the San Diego bullpen while underperformance from key figures has made the later innings of games a stressful time for Jayce Tingler.
By making his Major League debut in 2020, Olivares bypassed Triple-A entirely. After hitting .283/.349/.453 with Double-A Amarillo, Olivares posted a .176/.222/.294 batting line in 13 games with a 40 wRC+.
With a plethora of outfielders on the Padres roster along with CJ Abrams and Taylor Trammell on the rise, Olivares was at risk of getting squeezed off the roster. He will now get the chance to find his footing with Kansas City.
The inclusion of a PTBNL indicates Kansas City will be receiving a prospect that is not on the current 60-man roster. By MLB rule, any player not on the 60-man roster cannot be traded in the 2020 season, meaning Kansas City will not be receiving their full part of the trade until after the season.