KC Royals finish previous trade with another pitcher

(Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images)
(Photo by Hector Vivas/Getty Images) /

The KC Royals picked up another pitcher to cap an earlier trade with San Diego.

Whether he could recapture the form that once made him one of baseball’s premier closers was the only question hanging over Trevor Rosenthal’s head when the 2020 season began in late July. But when the answer quickly became “Yes,” another question soon arose: should the KC Royals keep or trade him?

It was the game’s midsummer trade deadline, the last chance for contenders to get quick help and non-contenders to obtain prospects from those clubs, that triggered the second inquiry. With the Aug. 31 deal deadline just days away, Rosenthal had saved seven games and struck out 21 in 13.2 innings as of Aug. 26; his ERA going into that day was 1.46, but surrendering three runs to the Cardinals in 1.1 innings skewed that stat upward to 3.29.

The contending Padres needed a reliever and the Royals, out of even the second Wild Card race for all practical purposes, wanted an outfielder. The teams talked and Kansas City shipped Rosenthal to San Diego three days later for outfielder Edward Olivares…and the always mysterious “Player to Be Named Later.” The deal soon satisfied both clubs—Rosenthal didn’t give up a run in nine regular season games for the Padres, fanned 17 in 10 innings and walked just one, while Olivares put himself in position for 2021 by hitting .274 with two homers and seven RBIs in 18 games.

And what about the unknown player? He was revealed Thursday to be Dylan Coleman, a 6-feet-5, 230-pound right-handed pitcher who’ll turn 25 in mid-September. He’s the Royals’ fifth offseason acquisition.

Coleman, a fourth-round draft choice of San Diego in 2018, was 24-9 and averaged over 11 strikeouts every nine innings in three years at Missouri State. But he also had a 4.46 ERA and walked over five batters per nine frames.

His control issues haven’t gone away—his two-season minor league BB9 is 4.4, although he had a respectable 2.8 in 16 games in Rookie ball, one of his three 2019 stops. On the other hand, Coleman’s 10.8 career SO9 is excellent.

Together with the bulk of minor leaguers, Coleman, who after college has pitched almost exclusively out of the bullpen, missed the 2020 campaign; he reached Advanced A ball in 2019, but gave up four earned runs and two unearned in his 2.1 innings there.

Coleman doesn’t appear on the KC Royals’ 40-man roster and will start next season at the Royals’ Advanced A Wilmington affiliate. He throws a fastball, curve, slider and changeup.

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The Trevor Rosenthal trade is finally complete. Pitcher Dylan Coleman is the player to be named later and will begin next season in the Kansas City farm system.