Phillies sign K-Rod to Minor League deal
Veteran reliever, 36, has 437 career saves
Six-time All-Star reliever Francisco Rodriguez will get at least one more shot at the big leagues, as the Phillies announced Sunday that they have signed K-Rod to a Minor League deal with an invitation to Spring Training. MLB Network insider Jon Heyman reported Saturday night that Rodriguez will earn $2.5 million if he makes the Major League roster, and the deal includes bonus incentives that could make Rodriguez's contract worth up to $3.75 million.
Rodriguez, who turned 36 this month, struggled to a 7.82 ERA and 1.66 WHIP in 28 appearances with the Tigers in 2017 before they released him in late June. Rodriguez subsequently signed with the Nationals to a Minor League deal but was released during the All-Star break.
The right-hander is fourth on the all-time saves list with 437, and he has recorded 30-plus saves in eight seasons, including a Major League-record 62-save campaign for the Angels in 2008. He saved 44 games for the Tigers in 2016.
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Rodriguez told Heyman in a recent interview that his fastball sat between 88-93 mph in a recent offseason throwing session after it averaged 89 mph last season, per Statcast™.
"I still have plenty left," Rodriguez told Heyman. "I am hoping to get an opportunity to help a team win a championship. I'm physically way better than I was last year. I'm ready. If I didn't have it, I'd say it. I'm a straight shooter, my own worst critic."