Trevor Rosenthal – Club/Vesting Option
We looked at Brian Dozier earlier on this article, but he’s not the only new player to appear on this list. The Washington Nationals also added Trevor Rosenthal in the offseason, though his situation is slightly different with an interesting option situation.
After a year out of baseball as he recovered from Tommy John surgery, Rosenthal needed a chance to prove himself again. He earns $6 million in 2019 with the team with a $14 million option that either the Nats pick up, will automatically vest if he pitches 50 games or finishes 30 games.
The situation works well for the Nationals, as while those incentives are lofty, if he’s anything close to his pre-surgery form, he’ll be worth $14 million. In parts of six seasons, the right-hander posted a 2.99 ERA with 121 saves and an impressive 12.0 K/9 with the St. Louis Cardinals.
Because the option vests automatically in certain conditions, if Rosenthal isn’t pitching to that elite level he has been at previously, the Nationals may have to be careful. Given recent signings such as Zach Britton and Adam Ottavino, $14 million would be a lot if Rosenthal isn’t on top form.
On the whole, in his first year back from TJ surgery, it’s tough to expect Rosenthal to go right back to an elite level that makes it worth vesting his option. Therefore, at this point, the most likely outcome is that his buyout is taken and he once again hits the open market.
Prediction: The Nats exercise Trevor Rosenthal’s $1 million buyout