Tag: Fernando Rodney

Fernando Rodney’s Contract Option Declined by Marlins: Latest Details, Reaction

The Miami Marlins declined their team option on reliever Francisco Rodney, making him an unrestricted free agent. 

Craig Mish of SiriusXM relayed a report from Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald which stated that Rodney was informed his option would not be picked up. Jon Heyman of Today’s Knuckleball confirmed the pitcher would not be brought back, noting that the buyout is $400,000.

Rodney, 39, could have earned up to $5 million with incentives, per Jackson. The veteran recorded 25 saves in 2016 while splitting time in Miami and San Diego, coming over in a midseason trade.

Borderline unhittable with the Padres, Rodney’s performance took a massive nosedive after coming to Miami. His ERA soared from 0.31 in San Diego to 5.89 in Miami, and he blew three of his 11 saves with the Marlins after converting his first 17. 

“I think closers are best when they’re not figured out,” Padres manager Andy Green told reporters in March. “He’s a difficult one to figure out that way. But he’s got a ton of personality, he’s got a ton of life, a ton of joy playing the game. It’s infectious.”

The Marlins traded pitching prospect Chris Paddack to San Diego in exchange for Rodney, so it was always expected they would retain him. They were initially on the hook for just $2 million in 2017, but Rodney reached performance and appearance numbers. It’s possible that extra $1.5 million in base salary tipped the scale. 

It’s the second straight season in which Rodney has had wildly disparate numbers in his two stops.

In 2015, he was consistently rocked as a member of the Seattle Mariners before finding his stuff with the Chicago Cubs. Rodney has always been a little inconsistent, so this falls in line with his career expectation. 

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Fernando Rodney to Marlins: Latest Trade Details, Comments and Reaction

The San Diego Padres reportedly traded relief pitcher Fernando Rodney to the Miami Marlins on Thursday, according to Jon Heyman of the MLB Network and Chris Cotillo of SB Nation.   

According to Heyman, the Padres are receiving minor league right-handed pitcher Chris Paddack in the deal:

Rodney, 39, has been superb this season, going 0-1 with 17 saves, a 0.31 ERA, a 0.87 WHIP and 33 strikeouts in 28.2 innings pitched. A.J. Ramos has also been excellent as the team’s closer, with 24 saves in 24 opportunities and a 1.74 ERA and a 1.19 WHIP. So the Marlins now have two strong options in the eighth and ninth innings.

That means Rodney will either slot into the team’s closer role or become the team’s setup man, as the 41-37 Marlins are both in the hunt for the National League East (5.5 games behind the Washington Nationals at the time of publication) and a wild-card berth.

With the Marlins in the postseason picture, Rodney wasn’t the only player the team considered to bolster the bullpen, per Joe Frisaro of MLB.com:

Carter Capps was expected to compete for the closer’s role this season, but he required Tommy John surgery in March and is done for this campaign. 

Rodney is an excellent option in the meantime. The two-time All-Star has been borderline unhittable this season and is due to make just $2 million next season on a 2017 club option that includes a $400,000 buyout, per Spotrac.

Giving up Paddack wasn’t cheap, but Rodney’s ability to serve as the team’s closer this season and his reasonable contract for next year made the move a smart addition for the Marlins. 


You can follow Timothy Rapp on Twitter.

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Fernando Rodney to Padres: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

After dealing Craig Kimbrel to the Boston Red Sox in November, the San Diego Padres appear to have found their new closer.

According to Jon Heyman of MLB Network, the Padres and reliever Fernando Rodney agreed to terms on a major league deal Wednesday, making him the favorite to lock down the team’s closer role in spring training.

Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reported Rodney signed a one-year deal with an option and performance bonuses that can max it out at $7 million. However, Sanchez added Rodney’s salary for 2016 is in the $1.5 million range.

After going 5-5 with 16 saves in the first half of the 2015 season with the Seattle Mariners, Rodney was traded to the Chicago Cubs on August 27. And while Rodney only made 14 appearances with the Cubs after being designated for assignment by Seattle, he went 2-0 with a 0.75 ERA, 15 strikeouts and four walks. 

“He still has the good fastball, outstanding changeup, and he’s a great teammate,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said when the Cubs acquired Rodney, per the Associated Press (via MLive.com). 

The 38-year-old is entering his 14th year of MLB service, and the Padres could desperately use some of the 2014 magic Rodney displayed with the Mariners. En route to his second career All-Star appearance, Rodney captured a league-best 48 saves while posting a 2.85 ERA.

While Rodney’s career has been somewhat of a roller coaster, the veteran has posted a cumulative 2.80 ERA over the past four seasons and still averaged a very healthy 94.7 mph on his fastball between time with Seattle and Chicago last season,” Steve Adams wrote for MLB Trade Rumors. 

As Maddon noted, Rodney primarily operates with a two-pitch arsenal.

According to FanGraphs, the veteran tossed fastballs 61.4 percent of the time last season while mixing in his changeup on 38 percent of his pitches. A meager 0.6 percent of Rodney’s pitches were sliders—a component that has faded in and out of his repertoire since his 2002 debut. 

Although Rodney’s not much more than a stopgap solution at 38 years old, he’s a low-risk, high-reward closing option for a Padres team in need of back-end stability after dealing Kimbrel. And as the 2012 and 2014 seasons indicate, there’s still some gas left in Rodney’s arm. 

With a bounce-back season on his mind, Rodney may end up paying dividends for the Padres as a bargain-bin signing. 

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Mariners’ Fernando Rodney Relaxes Amongst Colorado Rockies’ Bushes Mid-Game

Seattle Mariners reliever Fernando Rodney seems to have a lot on his mind lately.

In the sixth inning against the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday, Rodney took a stroll through the wilderness near the bullpen:

A man of nature, or a man who obeys the call of nature? We’ll likely never know.

What we do know, however, is that Rodney entered the game with a two-run lead in the ninth and allowed a pair of walks, hits and runs in just 0.1 innings. Rob Rasmussen had to relieve him with two outs in the ninth to bring the contest into extra innings.

The Mariners went on to lose, 7-5, in the 11th.

[Vine, Twitter]

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Seattle Mariners Bolster Bullpen with Fernando Rodney

The Seattle Mariners finally continued their spending ways after agreeing to a two-year, $14 million deal with reliever Fernando Rodney, as reported by Grantland’s Jonah Keri. Keri also notes that the deal could be worth up to $15 million with incentives:

Just two seasons ago, Rodney made history by surpassing Dennis Eckersley to record the lowest ERA of all time at 0.60. While still productive in 2013, he took a bit of a step back, posting a 3.38 ERA and 37 saves over 66.2 innings pitched.

Rodney averaged 11.07 strikeouts, 4.86 walks and 0.41 home runs per nine innings on the season. The K/9 was actually the best of Rodney’s career, but there was a dramatic increase in walks (up 3.05 points from 2012).

For the Mariners, Rodney should provide some stability to a bullpen that blew 23 saves last season, per ESPN.com. The video below shows Tom Wilhelmsen missing with his fastball location in a blown save against the Houston Astros.

Wilhelmsen, who started last season as the team’s closer after an impressive 2012, struggled mightily and finished the season with a 4.12 ERA and 5.03 BB/9. 

Relievers Charlie Furbush (1.1 WAR) and Danny Farquhar (1.9 WAR) were really the only reliable relievers on the team before the Rodney signing.

FanGraphs’ Jeff Sullivan wrote about the deal and noted that the Mariners needed another bullpen arm if they are to contend in 2014:

This was a bullpen in considerable need. Maybe not of a closer, but of help. Outside of Farquhar and Charlie Furbush, the Mariners had a bunch of question marks, made worse by Stephen Pryor coming off an unusual surgery. No one has any idea what to expect from Wilhelmsen, and Yoervis Medina is not unlike Rodney on his worse days. The goal for any contender ought to be to improve, and the Mariners intend to contend, and Rodney makes them an incrementally more talented team. 

MLB.com’s Richard Justice agrees that it is a positive signing, and he discusses Rodney and other potential moves:

Signing relievers to multiyear deals is always a gamble, but the Mariners were able to land one of the better ones at a reasonable price. If Wilhelmsen (or Stephen Pryor, Yoervis Medina, etc.) can step up, then the Mariners have a chance to feature an elite bullpen.

Whether they continue to spend (Nelson Cruz?) to fill their remaining holes will be the question going forward.

All statistics courtesy of FanGraphs.com, unless otherwise noted.

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Fernando Rodney and Seattle Mariners Reportedly Agree to 2-Year Contract

The Seattle Mariners’ offseason shopping spree has landed a closer. 

According to Grantland’s Jonah Keri, the Mariners and righty Fernando Rodney have agreed to a two-year, $14 million deal that could escalate with incentives:

Prior to this news, the two sides had been talking throughout the offseason. CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported earlier this month the Mariners had interest in Rodney, who at the time was seeking a two-year, $15 million deal.    

Keri’s report indicates Rodney and his representation were willing to shave $1 million off their asking price in guaranteed money, but the Mariners essentially acquiesced to his desire. Because of Rodney’s past health issues, the incentives are likely related to both performance and his ability to stay on the mound. 

Rodney, 36, has spent each of the last two seasons at full health with the Tampa Bay Rays. A middling eighth-inning man with some closing experience when he arrived in Tampa Bay, Rodney’s 2012 season with the club proved magical. He converted 48 of 50 save chances and compiled career lows in WHIP (0.78) and ERA (0.60)

The American League named Rodney its Comeback Player of the Year, and he was selected to his first MLB All-Star Game. With things apparently clicking in Tampa Bay, Rodney returned this past season with high expectations but failed to deliver consistently.

Rodney blew a career-high eight saves in 45 opportunities, while his WHIP (1.34) skyrocketed back around his career average and ERA ballooned to 3.38. Despite public pleas from teammates for his return, the Rays seemingly gave their aging closer little thought on the free-agent market—likely (and correctly) assuming he’d eventually be priced out of their low-budget range.

As ESPN’s Buster Olney also notes, the Rays pretty obviously preferred Grant Balfour to their in-house option:

Budget has not been a problem for the Mariners. Starting with their monster 10-year, $240 contract with second baseman Robinson Cano, Seattle’s front office has been on a spending tear all winter. Cano is joined by Corey Hart and Logan Morrison, the team trading for the latter and signing the former in free agency.

The Mariners have also been linked to Rays ace David Price, but seem unwilling to give in to Tampa Bay’s current demands.

Attention in the meantime has turned to Rodney and free-agent outfielder Nelson Cruz, who Heyman indicates could be the next in line. Equipped with extra money from local sports revenue and MLB’s television package, general manager Jack Zduriencik has left no stone unturned.

“I can’t tell you we are exactly done,” Zduriencik said. “We are exploring avenues. In terms of jumping in on the big guys, that has yet to be determined.”

When grading on a curve, Rodney’s deal makes some sense. Per FanGraphs, he had a WAR greater than one each of the past two seasons—both firsts—and he’s the most reliable closer remaining on the market. With the Mariners preparing for a run at the Oakland Athletics and Texas Rangers in the American League West, landing a reliable ninth-inning option was a must.

Odds are, Seattleites will hope 2012 Rodney shows up far more often than his less stellar 2013 counterpart.

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MLB Rumors: Fernando Rodney Worth Investment for Baltimore Orioles

He may not have been their first choice, but signing Fernando Rodney would be a good use of money for the Baltimore Orioles.

Per Dan Connolly of The Baltimore Sun, the Orioles seem to be balking on Grant Balfour and shifting focus in their closer search to Rodney.

Baltimore had scheduled a news conference to introduce Balfour on December 20, but Connolly reports the team has since cancelled it. That said, general manager Dan Duquette is still slated to deliver some news on the Balfour situation.

The closer spot opened up for the Orioles on December 2, when they traded Jim Johnson to the Oakland A’s for second baseman Jemile Weeks and a player to be named later, also per Connolly. The writer states that Johnson’s arbitration ruling, awarding him more than $10 million, prompted the organization to make the move.

As previously reported by Eduardo Encina and Connolly, the Orioles reached an agreement with Balfour, most recently a member of the A’s, for a two-year, $15 million contract, so Balfour would have gotten about $3 million less in 2014 than Johnson was slated to receive.

However, Balfour’s physical revealed an unspecified shoulder issue, which raises major red flags given his previous injury history.

From Encina and Connolly:

The severity of any injury to Balfour’s shoulder is unknown. But before Balfour, who converted 62 of 67 save opportunities for the Athletics over the past two seasons, emerged as a dependable late-inning arm, he missed two full seasons in 2005 and 2006 after reconstructive elbow and shoulder surgeries.

Over that same two-season span, Fernando Rodney registered 85 saves in 95 opportunities. At age 36, he is a year older than Balfour but without any major injuries in his past to concern a potential suitor.

What could bother Baltimore—and what likely prompted the O’s to pursue Balfour before Rodney—is the new target’s asking price.

If Baltimore gives in and signs Rodney for basically Johnson’s proposed price tag, it would be a loss for the front office only in the sense that its plan backfired.

While Johnson just turned 30 last season and has saved 50 games two years in a row, he’s had injury concerns in his past as well. The Orioles may be taking a half step down for the same price by going from Johnson to Rodney, but they’re landing the more secure option.

They’re also making the right call to search for a more expensive option in lieu of Balfour rather than a cheaper one.

After 14 straight losing seasons, the Orioles have won 178 games over the last two, 101 of which Johnson saved. The team leans on a strong bullpen, and the closer position is integral to Baltimore’s status as a playoff hopeful.

The Orioles tried to avoid it, but some spending is necessary to compete in the AL East. With the Boston Red Sox coming off a World Series title and the New York Yankees and Tampa Bay Rays consistent playoff threats, Baltimore can’t afford to let its strengths decay, even if strength costs.

An eight-digit Rodney contract might be a bitter pill to swallow, but the need substantiates it. He might be pricey, but the Orioles won’t mind paying him to save games in October.

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Tampa Bay Rays’ Fernando Rodney Saved from Being Trapped in Dugout Bathroom

If there haven’t been enough issues at O.co Coliseum this season, this latest one certainly helps add more evidence that the Oakland A’s are in dire need of a new home.

On Friday, Tampa Bay Rays closer Fernando Rodney decided he needed to use the bathroom, conveniently located at the end of the visiting dugout at the Coliseum.

However, Rodney ended up getting trapped.

It took a team of stadium personnel to finally get Rodney out of his predicament, using a crowbar to eventually pry the door open and let him out. Rodney did not factor in the game, as the Rays ended up losing 4-3. 

Back in mid-June, the A’s and Seattle Mariners ended up having to shower in the Oakland Raiders locker room after backed-up pipes caused flooding in both the home and visiting clubhouses.

And it was raw sewage that was dumped at the time.

Disgusting? Absolutely. But Rodney’s plight on Friday was hilarious to some of his teammates, several of whom could be seen cracking up after he was finally freed.

Many on Twitter thought the incident was quite humorous as well:

The clubhouses ended up going through an extensive renovation over a week’s time, with carpet, tile and drywall all torn out and replaced in affected areas.

But as President Obama said on the campaign trail in 2008 (in a variation of the old phrase), “You can put lipstick on a pig, but it’s still a pig.”

The incident on Friday may have been funny to Rodney’s teammates, but it’s just another sign that the A’s need a new home, and sooner rather than later. 


Doug Mead is a featured columnist with Bleacher Report. His work has been featured in the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, SF Gate, CBS Sports, the Los Angeles Times and the Houston Chronicle.


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Tampa Bay Rays: 5 Takeaways from the First Week of the Season

The 2013 MLB season is now in full swing, and the Rays haven’t had very good start to their year. Tampa Bay stands at 3-4 after the first week of baseball, dropping a couple of tough games but showing some bright signs as well.

It’s just the beginning of what should be an exciting year for this talented Rays team.

Here are five things I’ve taken away from the first seven games of the season.

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Fernando Rodney Reveals Power of His Lucky Plantain, World Cowers with Fear

The world doesn’t stand a chance when Fernando Rodney brings his lucky plantain to the ballpark. 

The Dominican Republic moved past the Netherlands Monday night and will now play in the World Baseball Classic final against Puerto Rico. 

Sure, you could give some of the credit to the timely hitting of Moises Sierra and Robinson Cano, but the real reason the Dominican Republic took the semifinal was the undeniable power of Fernando Rodney’s lucky plantain. 

The video (h/t Big Lead) features a stoic Rodney standing confident. Well, there is a reason he is so cool before the start of the game. He has a secret weapon, a lucky fruit that also talks to him. 

Here is more on this special and magical plantain from Yahoo! Sports:

It had a message for him, too, because what good is a piece of produce if it doesn’t talk to you? “If you keep me close to you,” the plantain said, according to Rodney, who did not indicate whether it spoke Spanish or English or maybe Fruitish, “you’re going to get the win.”

Sounds like Rodney’s plantain is a bit of a chatty Cathy. 

The powerful fruit arrived Monday afternoon via a special delivery from the Dominican Republic. Not being an expert on mystical good luck charms, I am not aware whether the plantain will still have enough mojo for the final against Puerto Rico. 

If the Dominican Republic does take the title, you can bet there will be crates of the stuff lying around the Tampa Bay locker room all season. 

Hit me up on Twitter for more good fortune. 

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