The A's officially signed reliever Trevor Rosenthal to a one-year contract Monday morning. But in doing so, they moved on from a key part of one of their biggest trades in recent history.
Dustin Fowler was designated for assignment to clear a roster spot for Rosenthal. Fowler, 26, was acquired from the New York Yankees, along with Jorge Mateo and James Kaprielian, for pitcher Sonny Gray ahead of the 2017 MLB trade deadline.
Fowler appeared in 69 games for the A's in 2018 but hasn't made the major leagues since. He hit .224 with six home runs at only 23 years old that season. But he also struck out 47 times and had a lowly .610 OPS.
The left-handed-hitting outfielder seemed primed for future stardom while coming through the minor leagues. He was ranked as high as the No. 88 overall prospect in the game by Baseball America ahead of the 2018 season. Unfortunately for him and the A's, that didn't lead to great results on the field.
Fowler suffered a devastating injury in his MLB debut with the Yankees in the 2017 season. While attempting to catch a foul ball in right field, he crashed into the wall and ruptured his right patellar tendon.
It's easy to wonder if Fowler's career would have gone different by now if that injury never happened. He hit .277 with 25 home runs and an .810 OPS in 2019 for the Las Vegas Aviators in Triple-A.