And while the clubhouse was still absorbing their All-Star’s stunning start from closer on Tuesday, the Brewers were still redoing their bullpen at the Trade Deadline.
Rosenthal, a powerhouse right-hander with closing 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 he’s on the roster injured with a hamstring injury and is not expected to be fully healthy until the end of August.
“That would be our intention and our goal,” Brewers president of baseball operations David Stearns said. “Obviously we could speed it up before that. I know Trevor is motivated to get it much faster. Or it could be longer, clearly, if we have a setback. But it’s the goal to bring him back to the big leagues.
Rosenthal missed 2021 after undergoing surgery to correct thoracic outlet syndrome and a torn labrum in his right hip. He has a 3.36 ERA with 132 career saves in eight seasons with the Cardinals, Royals, Padres, Nationals and Tigers.
Barring another setback, he would join a Brewers bullpen that suddenly looks different. Rogers and Williams will share closer duties to begin with. Bush thinks he’ll get a high-leverage job, and Lamet will fit into earlier innings with a chance to contribute to big innings if the Brewers get him to his cap – the one that made him a National League contender. Cy Young Award in 2020. Rosenthal, if he comes out healthy, that 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 very well over the past 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.”
Said Woodruff: “We’re a first-place team, and we want to win the World Series. That’s why when I saw it, I didn’t quite believe it at first. But as I sat down and thought about it a bit more, this part of the game is tough. I know that decisions at the front office are difficult to make. Sometimes you may not understand it, but that’s only part of it. … Now it’s over. We come today to try to win a baseball game.
Williams chose his words carefully.
“[Hader] has been a big part of our success,” he said. “Having him in the ninth inning, just giving him the ball was pretty much a sure thing most of the time. It was good to learn from him and feed off of him. I learned a lot from him over the past two years. Having him back there was really important to me.
When it was suggested that baseball could be a tough business, Williams said, “You could say that. Lots of things that don’t really make sense. I do not know. I want to win. This is the most important thing for me. I don’t really have much 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. It wasn’t for lack of effort, said Stearns, who was in talks on hitters until Deadline closed, including some who were traded and others who stayed put.
Among the candidates who were not traded were Red Sox DH JD Martinez, Cubs wide receiver Willson Contreras and outfielder Ian Happ, Giants outfielder Joc Pederson and A’s outfielder Ramón Laureano.
Was Stearns surprised by some of these non-trades?
“I think so,” he said. “Everyone rightly has a threshold that they’re going to set, and if they don’t reach that threshold, they’re going to cling 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 happened.
Given that the days of waiver trades in August are over, answers from brewers the rest of the way will have to come either from within or through free agency and waivers. They think they have enough to fight for the World Series.
They also understand that trading their top reliever is a unique way to get there.
“I don’t think we should avoid anyone’s reaction to the loss of a very important player for the franchise, the loss of a very good friend for a lot of people, the loss of a person great,” manager Craig Counsell said. “It hurts. It doesn’t feel good. And I think when the game starts, you have a job 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 really good guy to help us get there. He’s done an amazing job , and you know he will continue to do an incredible job. And that doesn’t change the goal of winning a World Series.