Cubs should boost the bullpen by signing Trevor Rosenthal

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Cubs are looking to make some final improvements to the roster and have been linked to several names. While players like David Robertson have come up in reports from WSCR’s Bruce Levine, another guy the Cubs should consider is former Cardinals closer Trevor Rosenthal.

Rosenthal, 30, is still a free agent and is coming off a a great year with the Royals and Padres. In 23 2/3 innings he pitched to a 1.90 ERA, 2.22 FIP, 0.85 WHIP, 38 strikeouts and eight walks. His strikeout rate equated to a 14.5 K/9. During his final 10 innings in San Diego, he did not surrender an earned run, struck out 17 batters and walked one.

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Rosenthal was a shutdown reliever in St. Louis from 2012-2015 and was an All-Star in 2015. Afterwards he spent his days battling injuries, including needing Tommy John surgery which resulted him in missing all of 2018. He bounced around between the Nationals, Tigers and Yankees organizations in 2019 only seeing 15 1/3 MLB innings with those three teams. His 2020 season showed he still has something to offer in the majors.

What a guy like Trevor Rosenthal could provide for the Cubs

This team really lacks velocity. In this day and age it is more important than ever to have guys who can pump high-90s or triple digits and miss bats. Especially in the bullpen. Rosenthal has been one of the harder throwers in the game the past decade. Even last year, after all that he went through in recent seasons, he was still throwing on average around 98 MPH on the fastball. And yes, he can still hit triple digits. Other pitches in his repertoire include a change and breaking ball, but throws his fastball 70-80 percent of the time in a season.

The closer position is still up for grabs at the time being. Craig Kimbrel on paper is the guy, but can you really count on him every time out? Even after pitching much better toward the end of 2020 vs. how he started, questions still remain if he can handle the position in 2021. The other candidate on the current roster is Rowan Wick. If they do not bring back Jeremy Jeffress or pass on Robertson, then here is another candidate for the role. Even if not a closer, Rosenthal could be a great setup man.

This team is taking plenty of fliers this year, why not take one on a guy who is coming off a good season and can still throw gas?

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Do not be surprised if the Cubs bring in a few more guys as pitchers and catchers head down to Arizona. Seems clear they want to make one or two more moves.