Rays To Sign Reliever Fernando Rodney

20120104-121642.jpgThe Rays continue their offseason search for bullpen help. According to reports (Spanish link), relief pitcher Fernando Rodney is close to a one year deal with the Rays worth about $2 million. The 34 year-old veteran had a disappointing season last year for the Los Angeles Angels, posting a 4.50 ERA with five losses and just three saves. However, Rodney has proven to be an effective reliever and closer in the big leagues. In 2009, Rodney saved an impressive 37 games for Detroit. Although it appears as if Rodney is on a career downslide, his excellent work so far in the Dominican Winter League gives the Rays confidence in him. Last week when interviewed by Associated Press reporters in the Dominican Republic, Rodney said that he had been signed by Tampa Bay for a one year deal. He also told reporters that he sees a good opportunity in Tampa to become the team’s closer, and said he will “fight” for the role. Rodney will definitely have competition, though. Both Kyle Farnsworth – the Rays’ closer last season – and Joel Peralta probably have a better chance of earning the closer spot next season. Whether he’ll be the closer or not, Rodney could be a key piece the Rays’ bullpen next year, which is still in somewhat a rebuilding process from after the 2010 season.

At the end of the day, picking up Rodney was a pretty good move for the Rays. They got him at a decent price, and his veteran experience should fit well in the Rays’ young bullpen.

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8 comments

  1. This is a very simple game...

    Granted your coaching staff has made many a silk purse out of some pretty beat up sow’s ears, but I just don’t know about Fraudney. He seems like he’s a good guy, actually, but the drive to perform was only there when he was competing for the closer’s spot. Once he had it…and that was the Tigers experience too. Although maybe Maddon, means to keep him competing for the spot. That might work…
    — Kristen

  2. mlblogsyossif

    Most Angels fans seem to agree on how bad Rodney did, and they have every reason to. A bunch Rays bloggers and I discussed Rodney recently, and we came to the conclusion that he has a good chance reviving himself in Tampa. The Rays have a history of signing old relievers on a career decline who revive their career in Tampa. Also, Mathis and Conger did a terrible job behind the plate with him last year, which didn’t help. Almost all his problems were based off his high BB/9 ratio.

    • This is a very simple game...

      Hey may have a good chance of reviing himself in Tampa. Your coaching staff is fantastic and, now that you have him, good luck. But catchers weren’t Rodney’s problem with the Angels. Conger rarely caught Rodney, it was mostly Mathis. And the only reason Mr. Mendoza line has kept his job in baseball so long is that the pitchers universally agree that he calls a great game and provides an excellent target. Also, watching Rodney for two seasons I can tell you, when he starts throwing balls they aren’t near misses. It looks like Wild Thing Rick Vaughn pre glasses out there. Near misses might be from a bad target but rolling the ball or sailing it so far wide the catcher has to leap is control issues plain and simple.
      — Kristen

      • mlblogsyossif

        I didn’t really watch Rodney last year, but I definitely can believe he was having control problems. At the end of the day, he just hasn’t had good seasons in the past two years. Hopefully things will change in Tampa.

    • mlblogsyossif

      I also think it was a good move and he’s worth the money, but they definitely shouldn’t of paid him over $2 million. They paid him $1.75 million, which was the right price. There’s no reason to overpay for older relievers, especially if they had two bad seasons in a row. Remember, the Rays also have very little spending money.

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