Rosenthal was largely successful with the Cardinals from 2012-17, part of which he spent as their closer, but then fell on hard times. He underwent Tommy John surgery late in 2017, missed all of the next season, and then had a horrible time between Washington and Detroit the next year. Rosenthal split 15 1/3 innings with those teams, allowing a whopping 24 runs (23 earned) on 26 walks with 17 strikeouts and 11 hits.
While Rosenthal’s career looked to be just about over at this time a year ago, he rebounded in a big way last season after inking a minor league deal with the Royals. Rosenthal did well with Kansas City over the first few weeks of the season before it sent him to San Diego leading up to the Aug. 31 trade deadline, after which he performed even better. The 30-year-old ended 2020 with a sterling 1.90 ERA/2.31 SIERA in 23 2/3 innings. Moreover, Rosenthal finished fifth among relievers in strikeout percentage (41.8) and sixth in K-BB percentage (33.0), also averaging 98 mph on his fastball and rating as a Statcast favorite.
A Rosenthal signing would be the second major free-agent offseason acquisition for the Mets’ relief corps, which added fellow setup man Trevor May on a two-year, $15.5MM deal in early December. Considering his vast experience as a closer (132 saves), Rosenthal could be a ninth-inning fallback option for the Mets if Edwin Diaz falters in 2021.