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Twins officially sign veteran closer Rodney

MLB.com @RhettBollinger

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins found their short-term solution at closer, officially signing veteran right-hander Fernando Rodney to a one-year deal on Friday worth $4.5 million with a club option.

The club reached an agreement with Rodney on Thursday on the last day of the Winter Meetings, but it became official on Friday after he passed his physical at Target Field. Rodney, who was told by the front office he'll serve as closer to open the season, said he had several suitors such as the Rangers, Mets and Giants, but he picked the Twins because at 40 years old, he wants to play for a contender.

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins found their short-term solution at closer, officially signing veteran right-hander Fernando Rodney to a one-year deal on Friday worth $4.5 million with a club option.

The club reached an agreement with Rodney on Thursday on the last day of the Winter Meetings, but it became official on Friday after he passed his physical at Target Field. Rodney, who was told by the front office he'll serve as closer to open the season, said he had several suitors such as the Rangers, Mets and Giants, but he picked the Twins because at 40 years old, he wants to play for a contender.

• Rodney tested out his trusty bow and arrow at a snowy Target Field

"I'm excited about the team because they have a lot of young guys," Rodney said. "They're a good team. They're in a good position to win this year. I'm coming here to win."

Rodney posted a 4.23 ERA with 39 saves with the D-backs last season, striking out 65 batters in 55 1/3 innings.

Rodney, a three-time All-Star, has extensive closing experience with 300 career saves in 15 seasons in the Majors. He's known for his colorful personality on the mound, with his hat slightly tilted to the side and his bow and arrow routine after recording saves.

Video: 12:25 Live on Rodney's first day with Twins

Rodney said the Twins were aggressive with their interest in him during the Winter Meetings and he's close with right-hander Ervin Santana, as they pitched together on the Angels. He also knows Miguel Sano, Eddie Rosario and Jorge Polanco.

• Hot Stove Tracker

"The [front office] told me they were looking for a closer at the Winter Meetings," Rodney said. "They liked me, physically and mentally, what kind of person I am outside the ballpark. I'm a good teammate. I like closing games. I want to be part of the group. I think we have a good chance to win the division."

Rodney has pitched for the Tigers, Rays, Angels, Mariners, D-backs, Padres, Cubs and Marlins with a career 3.73 ERA in 821 innings. He's the oldest player on Minnesota's roster and said he works hard to stay in shape.

"I try to keep my body in good condition in the offseason," Rodney said. "I try to eat healthy. I think it's hard work to keep my body like that, but the only way I feel comfortable is if I work out a lot in the offseason. I feel like I'm 29 today."

Video: Zinkie on Rodney's fantasy value with Twins

The Twins still could look for another reliever to join Rodney in a bullpen that will count on youngsters such as Trevor Hildenberger, Taylor Rogers and Alan Busenitz. General manger Thad Levine said early on Thursday that the Twins don't have a preference on right-handed or left-landed relievers. Levine and the rest of the front office traveled back from Florida on Friday.

Fantasy spin | Fred Zinkie (@FredZinkieMLB
Although Rodney recorded a 4.23 ERA in '17, wise fantasy owners will look past that mark and notice he also logged a solid 3.03 FIP with a 10.6 K/9 rate en route to notching 39 saves. The veteran may walk too many batters (career 4.4 BB/9 rate) to be one of fantasy's best closers, but he ranks third in baseball with 213 saves across the past six campaigns and could compile more than 35 in 2018 as the bullpen anchor on a team that is coming off an 85-win season.

Rhett Bollinger has covered the Twins for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger and Facebook.

Minnesota Twins, Fernando Rodney