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Rosenthal could earn $30M over 2 years as Nats closer

FILE - In this Aug. 5, 2017 file photo, St. Louis Cardinals relief pitcher Trevor Rosenthal (44) throws against the Cincinnati Reds during the ninth inning of a baseball game in Cincinnati. Rosenthal's comeback from his 2017 Tommy John surgery went so well, the Washington Nationals newest reliever said Monday, Nov. 5, 2018, he considered trying to get back to the majors last season. "The whole process has been very smooth. No hiccups. I felt really good the whole time. Almost too good," Rosenthal said during a conference call with reporters. Rosenthal, the former St. Louis Cardinals closer, agreed last week to a deal with the Nationals, who officially announced Saturday, Nov. 3 that they signed him. (AP Photo/Gary Landers, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Trevor Rosenthal could earn $30 million over two years if he becomes the Washington Nationals’ closer and regularly finishes games.

Coming back from Tommy John surgery, Rosenthal finalized a one-year contract this week that guarantees him $7 million.

The deal announced last weekend includes a $6 million salary for next season and a $10 million mutual option for 2020 with a $1 million buyout to be paid if the team declines the option. There also is a $15 million conditional player option for 2020 that Rosenthal can exercise if he has 50 games pitched or 30 games finished next year.

Rosenthal can earn $500,000 each for 25, 30, 35 and 40 games pitched next year, $1 million apiece for 45 and 50, $1 million each for 20, 30 and 40 games finished, and $2 million apiece for 50 and 60. There is an $8 million maximum.

If the mutual option for 2020 is exercised, he could earn $6 million in performances that year for games finished: $2 million each for 30, 40 and 50.

He would get a $1 million assignment bonus if traded. The deal also includes award bonuses.

Rosenthal, a 28-year-old right-hander, had Tommy John surgery late in the 2017 season and was released by the Cardinals that November. He has 121 saves, including 45 in 2014 and a career-high 48 the following year, when he was an NL All-Star.

Left-hander Sean Doolittle is Washington’s closer. He had a 1.60 ERA in 43 appearances and 25 saves in 26 opportunities in 2018 but missed two months with a foot injury. The Nationals picked up his $6 million option for 2019.

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