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Rodney, 43, nears deal with Astros (source)

@brianmctaggart
July 28, 2020

HOUSTON -- On a day the Astros lost another relief pitcher to an injury, the club has a deal in place with 43-year-old veteran Fernando Rodney to help their depleted pitching staff, a source confirmed to MLB.com. Rodney, who has been with the nearby Sugar Land Skeeters, is on the

HOUSTON -- On a day the Astros lost another relief pitcher to an injury, the club has a deal in place with 43-year-old veteran Fernando Rodney to help their depleted pitching staff, a source confirmed to MLB.com.

Rodney, who has been with the nearby Sugar Land Skeeters, is on the verge of returning to Major League Baseball by joining the Astros. The Astros have not confirmed the deal, which is pending a physical.

A veteran of 17 big league seasons, Rodney is a three-time All-Star who has 327 saves, a 3.80 ERA and a 9.1 strikeouts-per-nine rate in his career. He split last season between the A’s and Nationals, posting a 4.05 ERA and 35 strikeouts in 33 1/3 innings with Washington. Rodney also made six postseason appearances with the Nats, pitching in the AL Division Series, the AL Championship Series and the World Series, which Washington won in seven games over Houston.

If Rodney makes an appearance with the Astros, he would become just the sixth player in history to play for at least 12 teams.

Biagini latest reliever on shelf
The Astros placed right-hander Joe Biagini on the injured list Tuesday with right shoulder soreness and selected the contract of Andre Scrubb, who becomes the ninth rookie to join the club’s pitching staff this year.

Biagini joins Austin Pruitt (elbow) and Brad Peacock (shoulder) on the IL while Chris Devenski and Ryan Pressly are dealing with elbow soreness, though general manager James Click is hopeful they won’t need an IL stint. The Astros placed starting pitcher Justin Verlander (forearm) on the IL on Monday and starter Jose Urquidy has been on the IL since July 12. Veteran reliever Joe Smith is on the restricted list and likely won’t play this year.

The Astros have already had five pitchers make their Major League debut this year: Blake Taylor and Enoli Paredes on Friday, Cristian Javier on Saturday, Brandon Bailey on Sunday and Brandon Bielak on Monday. Nivaldo Rodriguez and now Scrubb are awaiting their debuts. Bielak threw 3 1/3 innings in relief Monday to get his first win, against Seattle.

“We’re being tested right now,” Click said. “The entire roster is being tested. Brandon Bielak, for a guy like that to come into a game like that and do what he did speaks volumes about the player development group, it’s speaks volumes about Bielak. Paredes, Javier -- I don’t want to name all of them because I’m going to forget somebody -- these guys have been pretty impressive. We’ll absolutely always look for ways to improve this roster, but the barrier of entry is very high here.”

Brian McTaggart has covered the Astros since 2004, and for MLB.com since 2009. Follow @brianmctaggart on Twitter.