Padres Rumors: Fernando Rodney Still an Option?

2014 07 11 Seattle Mariners, Oakland Athletics, MLB

Credit: AP Photo
Credit: AP Photo

As Jon Heyman has reported the San Diego Padres have been and still are currently weighing their options with closer Fernando Rodney. The team needs a stopper at the end of the pitching staff and Rodney could be a viable option.

The soon to be 39-year-old Rodney is a definite risk. He had a miserable year last year as he went 7-5 with a 4.74 ERA and a 1.40 WHIP. He only managed 16 saves and was stripped of the closers duties because of a dip in velocity and some ineffectiveness with his delivery. He still struck out 58 batters in his 62 innings, but he also walked 29 hitters. 

Rodney was dealt to the Cubs in August and recorded a 0.75 ERA and a 1.00 WHIP down the stretch for the team. He was not used in a closers role, but he struck out 15 batters in 12 innings pitched and only allowed 1 earned run. That was Rodney’s first time pitching in the National League in his career. With the nice performance down the stretch, perhaps Rodney still has something left in the tank.

Credit: Getty Images
Credit: Getty Images

The right handed closer out of the Dominican Republic has had some very good years in recent memory. In 2012 as a Tampa Bay Ray, Rodney earned his first all-star appearance at the age of 35. He went 2-2 that year with a 0.60 ERA and a 0.777 WHIP. He saved 48 games for the team and struck out 76 batters in 74 innings pitched. He finished fifth in Cy Young award voting for the American League that year. He was also awarded the American League Comeback Player of the Year. That was an amazing first season in Tampa for Rodney.

Unfortunately he followed that year up with a pedestrian like season in which he recorded a 3.38 ERA and a 1.335 WHIP. He still managed 37 bases but struggled with his command. He left Tampa Bay via free agency and chose to sign with the Seattle Mariners. In 2014 he went 1-6 with a 2.85 ERA and a 1.342 WHIP for the M’s. He saved 48 games in his first season in Seattle and appeared in his second all-star game. 

The success has been there in recent years, so perhaps he will continue to defy the odds and successfully pitch into his 40’s. There was a report last year in Seattle that Rodney was tipping his pitches. He has a great change-up and a very nice four seam fastball, but his fastball is straight and if a hitter knows its coming then they would tee off. It is not known if he made that adjustment while in Chicago and that’s why his numbers improved, but its a nice theory to live by if you are in Fernando Rodney’s corner.

Fact is the Padres need help in the bullpen. They need a proven closer. With Craig Kimbrel out of town and now closing out games for the Boston Redsox, and Joaquin Benoit in Seattle, the Padres need an experienced closer. Brandon Maurer, Kevin Quackenbush and Jon Edwards all lack the prior history in that vital role on a team. Perhaps Rodney could fill that need and help mentor these young pitchers. 

The tweet from Heyward mentions a low base salary with a lot of incentives. That would make the most sense, but it seems Rodney is waiting to see if he can get a lucrative major league deal from somewhere. Expect a resolution very soon and the Padres could be very active in pursuing the energetic closer.

Rodney is most commonly recognized for his look on the mound and his antics afterwards. His hat is always cocked to one side while on the rubber. It is a trend that seems to be catching on, as many imitate his actions while pitching themselves. His bow and arrow shot to the sky to celebrate a save is memorable. He is not afraid to put on a show. If he gets the job done, Padres fans will have no problem with his antics. He could be a nice addition for the team if he can be attained at a reasonable price. 

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James Clark
James was born and raised in America's Finest City. He is a passionate baseball fan with even more passion towards his hometown Padres. Editor-In-Chief of EastVillageTimes.com. Always striving to bring you the highest quality in San Diego Sports News. Original content, with original ideas, that's our motto. Enjoy.

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