Once an elite closer, Trevor Rosenthal had a disastrous stint with the Nationals in 2019. Brad Mills-USA TODAY 

The Kansas Royals announced Wednesday they’ve selected the contract of right-hander Trevor Rosenthal and designated lefty Eric Skoglund for assignment in order to open a spot on the 40-man roster.

As noted at MLBTR this morning,  the Royals have been weighing how to handle the March 26 opt-out dates negotiated into the minor-league contracts of Rosenthal and fellow righty reliever Greg Holland. Several clubs have agreed to push opt-out dates back until exhibition play resumes, although in Rosenthal’s case, it seems his strong spring showing was impressive enough that Kansas City decided to add him to the roster now rather than risk him triggering the preexisting clause.

Rosenthal was lights out prior to the spring shutdown, hurling five scoreless innings with just three hits allowed. Most importantly, he didn’t issue a walk and struck out nine. For a once-elite reliever who missed 2018 due to Tommy John surgery and saw  his control completely evaporate in 2019 — 42 walks, nine hit batters in 30 1/3 innings between the big leagues and the minors — the lack of free passes was a particularly heartening development. 

Of course, incoming Royals skipper Mike Matheny is familiar with what Rosenthal brings to the table when at his best; Matheny was Rosenthal’s skipper for the hard-throwing righty’s best seasons in St. Louis.

Skoglund, 27, has appeared in 27 games for the Royals across the past three seasons but hasn’t found much success. In 109  innings at the big league level, Skoglund has a 6.61 ERA with 5.5 K/9,  3.3 BB/9 and 1.6 HR/9. He was solid in his first run through the Triple-A level in 2017 — 4.11 ERA, 9.1 K/9, 2.6  BB/9 in 100 1/3 frames — but struggled in his past two seasons with the Royals’ top affiliate in Omaha as well. 

Overall, Skoglund has a  4.87 ERA and a 151-to-46 K/BB ratio in 172 Triple-A innings.

The Royals still have a decision to make on Holland — who starred in the Kansas City bullpen during the club’s renaissance several years back. Like Rosenthal, Holland has seen his career take a turn for the worse following Tommy John surgery and the arduous rehab process, but he has looked solid during Cactus League play: In six innings Holland surrendered three runs, five hits and a walk and racked up eight strikeouts.

This article first appeared on MLB Trade Rumors and was syndicated with permission.


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SCORE:
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George Brett
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Jim Sundberg
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John Wathan
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Frank White
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Willie Wilson

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