Washington Nationals: Keep Trevor Rosenthal on the radar

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ST LOUIS, MO - JUNE 11: Trevor Rosenthal #44 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches in the eighth inning of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Busch Stadium on June 11, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals defeated the Phillies 6-5. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
ST LOUIS, MO - JUNE 11: Trevor Rosenthal #44 of the St. Louis Cardinals pitches in the eighth inning of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Busch Stadium on June 11, 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. The Cardinals defeated the Phillies 6-5. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) /
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Most of the 2017 free agents have now found their homes. But Trevor Rosenthal is still out there, and the Washington Nationals should keep an eye on him.

After one of most bizarre free agency seasons in recent memory, a lot of the players previously without a club are now signed. But with a few free agents still lurking, the Washington Nationals could still pounce on the right player.

One example is Trevor Rosenthal.

The former St. Louis Cardinal was released by the red birds in November, after having Tommy John surgery last August. Although they have interest in bringing him back, other teams now have the opportunity to tempt him away.

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If he were fully healthy, the former closer would have no shortage of interest. At only 27 years old, he owns an ERA below three with 121 saves. He even garnered MVP votes back in 2015. Alas, the injury diminishes the interest in Rosenthal.

Given their solid track record of helping pitchers recover from TJ surgery, the Nats should still check in on Rosenthal. Most notably, they have helped Stephen Strasburg recover from the procedure. Erick Fedde and the rehabbing Joe Ross have also undergone TJ while with the Nats.

Rosenthal is also a player the Nats scouted at last year’s trade deadline to improve their bullpen. In the end, they ended up acquiring Brandon Kintzler from the Minnesota Twins instead.

The Nats’ bullpen appears to be a strength for the 2018 season, but there are doubts moving forward. Ryan Madson and Shawn Kelley are out of contract after this season. Kintzler could be gone too if neither of his contract options gets picked up.

It would be wise to keep tabs on Rosenthal, potentially to fill a high leverage role upon his return. However, it is unlikely he can return to a major-league mound before the end of 2018, so a two-year contract with a third year option would make the most sense.

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His market may take some time to develop while he continues to go through his recovery. But when the time is right, it’d certainly be shrewd business for the Nationals to make a move on Rosenthal.

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