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A’s closer Rosenthal could require thoracic outlet surgery

After opening the season on the injured list due to a shoulder problem, Athletics closer Trevor Rosenthal could now require thoracic outlet surgery to address the injury, manager Bob Melvin announced to reporters Wednesday (Twitter link via Shayna Rubin of the San Jose Mercury News). It’s a sudden and troubling development for a struggling A’s club. The procedure would come with “at least” a 12-week recovery time, Matt Kawahara of the San Francisco Chronicle tweets. The right-hander is weighing his options and is expected to make a decision in the near future.

Rosenthal, 30, spent much of the offseason seeking a lucrative multi-year deal after turning in an absolutely dominant performance between the Royals and the Padres last season. However, when he wasn’t able to find a long-term deal to his liking, the hard-throwing righty opted for a one-year deal at a strong $11M rate to serve as the closer at the pitcher-friendly O.Co Coliseum.

It was a surprise investment for an A’s club that spent most of the winter idling on the sidelines as teams throughout the league sifted through the free-agent market. Only after the A’s were able to shed a notable portion of Khris Davis’ contract did they enter the free-agent waters, and even then, their initial expenditures were modest, one-year commitments to Yusmeiro Petit, Sergio Romo and Mitch Moreland. Rosenthal was an entirely different type of spend, and it’s now an open question whether they’ll get any real return on what was a major splash by their standards.

Thoracic outlet syndrome is the latest in a series of setbacks for Rosenthal, who

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