For the first time in a decade the Padres are nearing September as legitimate playoff contenders. On Saturday they made a move to shore up their most glaring insufficiency: the bullpen.
The Friars swung a deal with the Royals, sending rookie outfielder Edward Olivares and a player to me named later to Kansas City in exchange for reliever Trevor Rosenthal.
In 14 appearances, Rosenthal has saved seven games and struck out 21 hitters in 13.2 innings. He was an All-Star in 2015 with the Cardinals but underwent Tommy John surgery two years later. In 2019 he was released by two different teams and joined the Royals on a Minor League contract.
In 2020 he looks to be healthy and comfortable again so the Padres are counting on him as a late-inning option for a bullpen that has lost All-Star closer Kirby Yates, free agent signee Drew Pomeranz and promising lefty Jose Castillo to injury in 2020 (there is a chance any of the three could be back at some point before or during the playoffs).
Olivares, who had never played above AA before this season, played his way onto the Opening Day roster with a fabulous training camp but was hitting .176 before being sent to the Padres alternate training site.
This is the second time the Padres and Royals have made a deal since baseball returned from the COVID-19 hiatus. Just before the season started they acquired lefty Tim Hill and sent outfielder Franchy Cordero and right-hander Ronald Bolanos to Kansas City.
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