And while the clubhouse still accommodated the stunning departure of their All-Star closer on Tuesday, the Brewers were still recreating their bullpen on the Trade Deadline.
Rosenthal, a hard-throwing right-hander with slot experience, hasn’t pitched in the Majors since 2020. He signed with San Francisco for a prorated $4.5 million plus incentives on July 21, but is on the injured list with a hamstring injury and isn’t expected to be fully healthy until the end of August.
“That would be our intent and our goal,” said David Stearns, Brewers president of baseball operations. “Obviously we could speed it up before then. I know Trevor is motivated to get it much faster. Or it could be longer, obviously, if we have a setback. But that’s the goal to get him back to the big leagues.”
Rosenthal missed 2021 after undergoing surgeries to correct thoracic outlet syndrome and a torn labrum in his right hip. He has a 3.36 ERA with 132 saves in eight seasons with the Cardinals, Royals, Padres, Nationals and Tigers.
Barring another setback, he’d join a Brewers bullpen who suddenly looks different. Rogers and Williams will share closer duties from the start. Bush thinks he’ll get high-leverage work, and Lamet fits into the earlier innings with a chance to contribute big innings if the Brewers get him to his ceiling — one that will make him a National League contender Cy Young in 2020. Award made. Rosenthal, if he comes through healthy, would be another high leverage option.
“I think David, Matt [Arnold, Milwaukee’s GM] and Mark [Attanasio, the team’s principal owner], they’ve done a really good job over the last five years and I think they’ve earned the trust of everyone in this room,” Yelich said. “They have the best interests of this team in mind.”
Woodruff said: “We are a team first and we want to win the World Series. That’s why I didn’t quite believe it at first when I saw it. But when I sat down and thought about it a bit more, that part of the game is hard. I know front office decisions are hard to make. Sometimes you may not understand, but that’s just part of it. … Now it’s over. We come in today to try and win a baseball game.”
Williams chose his words carefully.
“[Hader] was a big part of our success,” he said. “With him in the ninth inning, it was almost certain that he got the ball to him. It was good to learn from him and enjoy him. I have taken over a lot from him in recent years. It was very big for me that he was there again.”
When it was suggested that baseball can be a difficult thing, Williams said: “You could say that. A lot of things that don’t really add up. I don’t know. I want to win. That’s the most important thing to me. I don’t really have many to say about it.”
In the end, the Brewers added to the bullpen like many contenders do at the Deadline, but they didn’t add a bat. That wasn’t because of a lack of effort, said Stearns, who talked about hitters until the end of the deadline, including some being traded and some staying put.
Among the candidates that were not traded were Red Sox DH JD Martinez, Cubs catcher Willson Contreras and outfielder Ian Happ, Giants outfielder Joc Pederson and A’s outfielder Ramón Laureano.
Was Stearns surprised by some of those non-trades?
“I think so,” he said. “Everyone has, rightly so, a threshold that they are going to set, and if they don’t reach that threshold, they stick to it. I get it. It was a little surprising that some bats, some players in general, didn’t change hands, but that’s how it went.”
As the days of waiver transactions are over in August, the Brewers’ answers will have to come the rest of the way from within or through free agency and waivers. They think they have enough to compete for the World Series.
They also understand that trading their best reliever is a unique way to get there.
“I don’t think we should shy away from anyone’s reaction to losing a really important player to the franchise, to losing a really good friend to a lot of people, to losing a great person,” said manager Craig Counsell. “That hurts. It doesn’t feel right. And I think when the game starts, you have a task to do. …
“We all want a World Series. The best way to get there, I think we should have learned over the years — David Stearns is a pretty good guy to help us get there. He’s done an incredible job and you know he’s going to keep doing it incredibly. And this doesn’t change the goal of winning a World Series.”