Veteran relief pitcher Fernando Rodney is the perfect example of how one good stint can raise your market value back up despite previous failures. The Chicago Cubs would like to re-sign him, although they’re facing competition from the San Diego Padres, Toronto Blue Jays and Arizona Diamondbacks.
The 38-year old didn’t do a very good while playing for the Seattle Mariners in 2015 (was excellent in 2014) which got him on the Chicago Cubs eventually, where he redeemed himself. He finished with a 1.000 WHIP for the Cubs and an 0.75 ERA after posting a 5.68 ERA and a 1.500 WHIP in Seattle. He also struck out 11.3 batters per nine innings in 14 games for the Cubs, also helping them out a bit in the playoffs.
Rodney had a strong 2014, so it’s OK to assume his dip in 2015 isn’t a permanent thing. He finished with 48 saves in 64 appearances for the Mariners that year, making the All-Star game for the second time in three years and also leading the league in saves. He had a similar year for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2012. Thanks to his stint with the Cubs, he’s not forced to struggle for remaining in major league baseball.
But where does he end up? It’s not just money, but also a question of role. He isn’t going to be a closer for the Cubs, but did quite well there, and it’s a team it seems like free agents really want to end up with. Maybe it’s the young core and upwards trend, or simply playing for Joe Maddon is all its cracked up to be, something Rodney already did before in Florida and a bit in Chicago.
The Padres have some money set aside thanks to some good deals they made recently, and are probably the only team willing to give Rodney a shot at the closer slot. Both the Cubs and Diamondbacks want him in an earlier role when it comes to his relief appearance, and the Blue Jays are into him, but not too keen after acquiring Drew Storen to be their closer last week.
Rodney has been in Major League Baseball since 2002, posting a 3.71 ERA in 700.1 innings, accumulating 236 saves. He has a 1.361 WHIP over the course of his career while averaging 8.8 strikeouts per nine innings. He has played for the Cubs, Mariners, Rays and Angles after playing his first eight seasons with the Detroit Tigers.