Why Trevor Rosenthal took the type of deal Marcus Semien turned down

Days before pitchers and catchers were due to report to Mesa, the Oakland A’s roster was anemic.

Not decimated — the talent and core from past contending seasons remained. But the A’s didn’t have a counter punch as other teams purged its overflowing bin of free agents. They seemed resigned to start retreating out of contention.

But through a flurry of moves in the final hours, the A’s sent a bat signal that they weren’t sitting on their hinders. They could make a better team, despite the extreme budgetary confines.

That’s what sealed the deal for Trevor Rosenthal, who ultimately sign a one-year, $11 million deal (with deferrals) to be the A’s closer for the 2021 season.

“The fact they wanted to do something on top of that showed me the commitment they had to winning this year and putting out the best possible product they could,” Rosenthal said on a call with reporters Tuesday. “I saw it was a good opportunity to have success with so many options in the back end.”

The merits of a one-year deal for a 30-year-old reliever four years removed from Tommy John surgery who has bounced between four teams since his recovery: It provides him the opportunity to bet on himself and chance to reset his market for the next round of free agency. Rosenthal throws 100-plus mph and gave up a grand total of five runs over 23.2 innings with the Kansas City Royals and San Diego Padres in 2020.

Rosenthal looked at the talented, potentially powerful A’s lineup, the American League West title, the budding starting rotation and saw opportunities to rack up some saves closing games as a bullpen centerpiece for a contending team.

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It’s a logical one-year pit stop. And, somewhat surprisingly, the A’s offered the money Rosenthal sought. Also surprising is that Rosenthal was willing to opt into deferring $8 million of that money to 2022 ($3 million) and 2023 ($5 million). Rosenthal took the type of contract Marcus Semien turned down.

Remember, the A’s floated Semien the concept of a $12.5 million deal with $10 million deferred in 10, one-year installments of $1 million each. In other words, Semien would get $2.5 million in 2021. But Toronto offered $18 million, all in one year, and the A’s didn’t have that kind of money to offer all in one place.

The A’s still didn’t have all $11 million to give Rosenthal up front, but in this uncertain climate and free agency period winding down, it was more than enough to secure his services.

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Source:: The Mercury News – Sports


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