Phillies Interested In Fernando Rodney

The Phillies are "showing preliminary interest" in free agent reliever Fernando Rodney, according to Ken Rosenthal and Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.  GM Ruben Amaro Jr. told David Murphy of the Philadelphia Daily News that he's reached out to five or six free agents, so Rodney is presumably among those.

The FOX writers expect Rodney "to draw heavy interest from a large number of clubs," which comes as a surprise to me.  I suppose it all just depends on Rodney's demands – will he take a one-year deal at less than $8MM, and is he open to a set-up role?  Here in 2009 I imagine GMs aren't terribly impressed by 37 saves when they come with a 4.40 ERA, 7.3 K/9, and 4.9 BB/9.  To his credit, Rodney was one of few free agent relievers with a strong groundball rate (57.9%).

Rodney could benefit from being classified as a Type B free agent rather than Type A.  But with relievers, the importance of those designations seems overblown because arbitration offers are far from certain.  Jose Valverde, Mike Gonzalez, Rafael Soriano, LaTroy Hawkins, Rafael Betancourt, Kevin Gregg, John Grabow, Billy Wagner, Darren Oliver, Takashi Saito, and Octavio Dotel are Type A free agents, but only a handful will actually be offered arbitration.



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