Relievers are going fast this offseason, and the Arizona Diamondbacks didn’t want to miss out. Late Tuesday evening, it appeared as though the Dbacks and veteran closer Fernando Rodney were closing in on an agreement. Around midnight on the East Coast, Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reported that the deal was done. Rodney will join the Diamondbacks on a one-year, $2.75 million contract, with performance incentives. Arizona plans for him to close.
Rodney agreement with dbacks is for $2.75M plus many, many inventives. Plan is for him to close.
— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 7, 2016
Arizona Diamondbacks Sign Fernando Rodney
Rodney, 39, has been pitching in the major leagues since 2002. He spent the first seven seasons of his career with the Detroit Tigers, and has since served with the Los Angeles Angels, the Tampa Bay Rays, the Seattle Mariners, and the Chicago Cubs. He began the 2016 season with the San Diego Padres, and was traded at the deadline to the Miami Marlins.
Over his long career, Rodney has saved 261 games, which puts him at 32nd on the all-time leaderboard. Among active players, he has the fifth-most career saves. He also owns a lifetime 3.69 ERA and 759 strikeouts. His single best season came in 2012 with Tampa Bay. That year, he recorded a 0.60 ERA with 76 Ks against just 15 walks, 48 saves, and a 0.78 WHIP.
Rodney has always been known for his strong strikeout rate, but has also been known for his lack of command. He’s issued 30 or more walks in six separate seasons, and has issued a total of 378 free passes. Last season, he got off to a strong start with San Diego; he saved 17 games for the Padres, and pitched to a 0.31 ERA and a 0.87 WHIP in 28.2 innings. Things did not go as well for him in Miami, as he walked 25 batters and surrendered five home runs in 36.2 innings, while putting up a 5.89 ERA.
Perhaps a return to the NL West will do him some good. If he can recapture the form he displayed with the Padres, the Diamondbacks will have found a good, and very cheap, option at closer. However, if he continues to pitch like he did with the Marlins, then Arizona will be left scrambling for a replacement.