NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The D-backs agreed to a one-year contract with free-agent reliever Fernando Rodney, the team announced Friday. The deal is for $2.75 million, plus incentives that can push the deal to $5 million.The D-backs have been searching for help for the back end of their bullpen, after
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md. -- The D-backs agreed to a one-year contract with free-agent reliever Fernando Rodney, the team announced Friday. The deal is for $2.75 million, plus incentives that can push the deal to $5 million.
The D-backs have been searching for help for the back end of their bullpen, after dealing veterans Brad Ziegler and Tyler Clippard prior to last year's Trade Deadline.
On Tuesday, D-backs general manager Mike Hazen said his team had made some offers to free-agent relievers, and expressed the desire to add one who had prior closing experience.
"They can handle and process that situation, and really slow the game down in that moment in time," Hazen said of the advantage of having an experienced closer.
Rodney fits that role, having saved 261 games over 14 big league seasons.
The veteran right-hander had a 3.44 ERA in 67 appearances for the Padres and Marlins in 2016, including converting 25 saves in 28 opportunities. But Rodney struggled after San Diego dealt him to Miami at the end of June. The 39-year-old had a 0.31 ERA and was 17-for-17 in save chances for the Padres, allowing only one earned run in 28 2/3 innings. But he pitched to a 5.89 ERA with Miami, where he had all three of his blown saves.
The Marlins declined to pick up Rodney's option for 2017 after the season, allowing him to become a free agent.
Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB)
With 261 career saves, Rodney is -- unequivocally -- the D-backs' most experienced ninth-inning option. Despite his stretch-run woes with the Marlins last season (5.89 ERA, 1.80 WHIP), the 39-year-old will likely open 2017 as Arizona's top stopper. Wise fantasy managers will consider using a late-round pick on the veteran, hoping for at least a half-season of saves while preparing to jump on the waiver wire in the event that plans go awry.
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.