Rays Sign Fernando Rodney

The Rays announced that they signed right-hander Fernando Rodney to a one-year deal that includes club option for 2013. Rodney will earn $1.75MM in 2012 and has a $2.5MM option for '13 with a $250K buyout, tweets ESPN's Enrique Rojas. The Associated Press first reported the deal (link in Spanish via ESPN).

“Fernando’s pure stuff is top-notch and can beat hitters both in and out of the strike zone,” Rays Executive VP of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said. “We feel he will be able to maximize his ability with us to further strengthen our bullpen.”

Rodney posted a 4.50 ERA with more walks (28) than strikeouts (26) and a 58.4% ground ball rate in 32 innings of work for the Angels in 2011. The 34-year-old has a 4.29 ERA with 8.2 K/9, 4.9 BB/9 and a 49% ground ball rate in nine seasons with the Tigers and Angels. Rodney told the AP that he hopes to compete to be the Rays' closer in 2012 and that he’s feeling good physically and mentally. 

79 Responses to Rays Sign Fernando Rodney Leave a Reply

  1. joeybw 4 years ago

    Anyone remember when I said pretty much any Rays move would make me happy at this point? Turns out I was wrong, I don’t like Rodney at all.

    • redsx968 4 years ago

      Really? I think this is a pretty good buy low

      • joeybw 4 years ago

        I really don’t like signing guys that I always loved to face. I was happy when Rodney came in because we usually beat him and now I have to break out the pepto every time he comes in because he’s with us now.

        • I went through a good amount of pepto during Rodney’s tenure in Anaheim.

          Guy has a great fastball but is an absolute headcase.

          • Lastings 4 years ago

            On top of that, he walks a TON

          • gradylittle 4 years ago

            Yeah his walks per 9 were higher than his k/9 last season..yikes. 

          • Lastings 4 years ago

            I’ll give him a bit of a break last year with being injured, but this guy is just not all that effective and has some issues. On the other hand, same could be said about Farnsworth and he was very impressive last year. Personally, I think Farnsworth is a better pitcher than Rodney, but I hope this signing works out for Tampa. Other than Howell, their bullpen is impressive.

          • JacksTigers 4 years ago

            My grandma wouldn’t let me go throught the Pepto when he was with Detroit. So I went through a whole lot of Pepsi followed by many spit takes. I have the stain marks on the carpet to prove it, too.

          • jphenix2002 4 years ago

            Be glad you only had to deal with him for two years, part of which he was hurt.

          • EightMileCats 4 years ago

            Rodney has a great fb and change up…
            But you’re on the edge of your seat everytime
            If he kept control regularly, he’d be an amazing closer…

          • Guest 4 years ago

            sales in tampa will skyrocket….{pepto}

    • jphenix2002 4 years ago

      I love this signing. It means no return to Detroit!

  2. Evan Dolan 4 years ago

    not a huge fan of the signing…but honestly, can you really ever question a move by the rays? no.


    • Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

      Hard to question any team’s buy low option. They don’t hit on every free agent though.

    • jphenix2002 4 years ago

      Yes. Signing Rodney is ALWAYS a questionable move, even on a minor league contract.

    • sandy kazmir 4 years ago

      On what planet is paying Fernando Rodney $2M considered a buy-low?  Guy should have been an NRI for his Dominican club.

    • um its the rays not the yankees

  3. hallwagner 4 years ago

    he hasn’t had an ERA under 4 since 2006, come on rays…

    • Onetimeaccount 4 years ago

      Benefit of the doubt for me on this one. They’ve made signings like this before and it works out for them. Rays do what they do and they win by doing it.

    • johnsilver 4 years ago

      Everyone laughed at Fahrnsworth also. Look how that low budget sign did for them last year.

      Rodney is a good gamble and surprised more teams didn’t make a move on him, same with Shaky Gonzalez.

      • Stuart Brown 4 years ago

        It’s hard to think that the Rays will be able to cut down his career 4.8/9 walk rate, though. That is especially considering that his walk rate hasn’t been below 4 since 2007. Farnsworth at least showed improvement in that area over the previous couple of seasons.

        • johnsilver 4 years ago

          Not that he is a good closer.. But kevin Gregg has had a bb/9 lower than 4.3 1 time since 2006 and people keep throwing large contracts his way for some odd reason, last year Gregg was a whopping 6 bb/9.

          Rodney can throw the 7-8th inning and close when Fahrnsworth is not available. it was a decent gamble on the rays and as they have shown many times.. never under estimate one of their signings.

  4. joeybw 4 years ago

    I will be fair for a minute before I go back to being angry. I had the same “why the….?” feeling when we signed Farnsworth and he had All Star caliber numbers. If it will work for any team, it’s the Rays. Okay, I’m angry again.

  5. Something about this deal reeks.

  6. Thurman8er 4 years ago

    Good luck with that.

  7. joeybw 4 years ago

    Some rumors floating around that this is a split contract and he only gets 2 million if he makes the team. Hoping for that.

    • johnsmith4 4 years ago

      Yep…I don’t see how he makes the roster with all the other reliever pickups done this off-season.

      Maybe they are stocking up to make a trade.

  8. I personally like the move. I think he can have a good season in the low-pressure Tampa environment. Seems like players go there and have great years a lot. Fuld, Kotchman, and Farnsworth to name a few.

    • pierre 4 years ago

      while i agree with kotchmann and farnsworth, how can you put sam fuld in this group? fuld batted 240 with 3 home runs and 27 rbi. an obp of 313, slugging % of 360 and an ops of 673 is not a great yr even for a bench player, unless your standards are that low.

      • Grant 4 years ago

        Not only that, but without him, we probably wouldn’t have survived April, when Longo was hurt. He really stepped in and even if it was for a month or two, he saved the team in a way

  9. Soxfan1120 4 years ago

    I’ll tell ya,Rodney gets no respect,no respect at all.

  10. joeybw 4 years ago

    This was basically the reaction when we signed Farnsworth. I have already insulted this signing about 4 times in this thread but does anyone else see, mid way through the season, a lot of people saying “wow he has really been shutting the door, what a great signing by the Rays again”

    • Devon Henry 4 years ago


      • joeybw 4 years ago

        To be fair, Kotchman was pretty bad over their in Anaheim also. However, I agree this time, Rodney will be below average until he gets actually hurt or “hurt” and we bring up somebody from our sudden large depth of relievers.

        Josh Leuke, Cesar Ramos, Alex Torres, Dane De La Rosa, Matt Bush and whoever else Friedman feels the need to sign before ST are all going to be a call away. I wanted Torres as the last guy in the pen, he’s a lefty with filthy stuff and has been a starter his whole career, I really see back end RP in his near future.

        • HolaAmigas 4 years ago

          Kotchman actually wasn’t bad in Anaheim. When he was traded for Teixeira he was hitting over .300 and was on a home run streak. He was just on the DL a couple of times. Kotchman started going down hill with the Braves, but he was a good Angels player.

  11. alxn 4 years ago

    the rare Andrew Friedman head scratcher

    • joeybw 4 years ago

      He has at least 1 every year. Farnsworth and Kotchman were 2 huge head scratchers, they always seem to work out. Just have to hope that his luck continues. Oh and can we please trade for a 1B and DH now? Thanks.

  12. PushDown 4 years ago

    Fraudney + Red Sox offense + Yankee Offense = You’re done Rays!

    • joeybw 4 years ago

      Yeah, you know we were actually picked to finish in last place last year? Rodney isn’t the best signing, not by a mile but he is not the guy that is going to kill our season, not with not only the great pitching depth but the talent of all those pitchers. They will shorten games and since Rodney wont see anything after the 6th, he wont even be used that often.

      • jphenix2002 4 years ago

        who picked the rays to finish behind the orioles and blue jays? I’d seen Tampa relegated to third, but not last.

  13. Rodney, an average reliever anywhere else, becomes superman upon donning a Rays jersey. I don’t understand it but it always seems to happen. ie Balfour, Farnsworth, Baez, etc.

  14. cookmeister 4 years ago

    get used to the bases being loaded Rays

    • FunkyTime 4 years ago

      The bases will be loaded, and so will their fans.

      • joeybw 4 years ago

        I can vouch for that, I’m already loaded. However, I am trying to be optimistic that he will at least be serviceable with us. Ryan Madson wasn’t coming to Tampa, Friedman saw something in Rodney and he usually has a great eye for guys figuring it out. I would expect another RP signing by him before ST, he loves his depth and try to remember what this pen was after 2010. It was Andy Sonnanstine and a lot of prayers. Of course, he can add his depth after we get a 1B and DH, please.

        • FunkyTime 4 years ago

          All kidding aside, I saw Rodney a lot with the Tigers and always thought he was pretty solid.  His control is shaky at times, but he’s still a better than average reliever.

          If he’s one of the depth guys on your team you know you have a strong pen.

        • He’ll get Hickey’d

          • faceforest 4 years ago

            I don’t know what that guy does, but he seems to have some magic tough where he sends the bad ones through the rinse cycle and the come out hurlers. Anyone remember Benoit and Qualls? Benoit only had two seasons where he pitched below 3.50, Hickey gets a hold of him and he has a 1.34 era. Balfour was a up and down mess before he came to the Rays. Hell, Qualls’ ERA with the Rays doesn’t do justice to what he did here either. He calmed down and didn’t look like a nervous wreck and put up some solid outings.

  15. the Rays can screw up occasionally (Percival, Burrell), but if Rodney costs little then hey, no real cost if he sucks. Yay buying low with little risk

  16. NathanielS 4 years ago

    Learn to hate the hat

  17. Seems like a good buy-low option, but there’s no way he will compete for the closing job. Farnsworth has that locked up. Rodney is a good fit in the 6th and 7th inning.

  18. Nathan Fenstemaker 4 years ago

    The dude still has his nasty change and mid-90’s heater, right? Seems like a low-risk high-reward move. Other than his non-save disasters, he was pretty darn good in ’09. I didn’t watch him much after he left, but whenever he pitched against Detroit he still looked pretty nasty at times.

    • jphenix2002 4 years ago

      Pretty darn lucky is accurate. Good? I smell lies here

    • JLaw 4 years ago

      As long as he isn’t the closer, he should be fine. I’ve always thought that he had one of the best fastball/change-up combos in the league. I hope to see him bounce back for the Rays. Seems like a good, low-risk signing to me. That change-up really was filthy at times in his career. Let’s jut hope he hits the strike-zone with it.

  19. Im not sure about this. I mean first off, its a lot of money for a 1 year for a guy who plays like this. Also, we still have to find at least 2 bats and now they have no choice but to get an average player thanks to this signing. Of course I can come back by the end of the year and say i was wrong yet again and Freidman keeps on surprising me

  20. Paul Shailor 4 years ago

    I am a tigers fan and I cannot stand Rodney, I think he is garbage. However I have to trust that Friedman is more intelligent at baseball operations than I am so he probably sees something I just am not seeing.

  21. diesel2410 4 years ago

    Ok our bullpen is set, I guess. We need to focus on offense now

  22. Rusty_Arcadia 4 years ago

    Rays fans… be ready for the frustration! A guy with all the tools that can’t put it together. Heard he is actually a headcase as well.

    • diesel2410 4 years ago

      Kyle Farnsworth sucked before he came to Tampa. I expect the same for Rodney

      • Rusty_Arcadia 4 years ago

        Because the air in Tampa makes all erratic wacky pitchers better? 2 mil down the drain. 

  23. javywoz 4 years ago

    This is really an insurance signing.  The Rays are set for the late innings with Farnsworth, Peralta, Gomes and McGee, so Rodney will likely see mostly 6th and possibly 7th inning work.  But this gives them insurance incase Farnsworth elbow acts up again, to have someone capable of helping in the 7th/8th innings if they have to go to closer by committee. 

  24. optionn 4 years ago

    2 million is a drop in the bucket for MLB salary.  This is about as low risk- high reward as you can get with his velocity. 

  25.  wow sucks for the rays

  26. Eddie Millhauser 4 years ago

    I love that there are a lot of Rays fans saying oh this is low risk for 2 mill but if the Angels re-signed him everyone would be ranting and raving about how STUPID it was for 2 million. ANYWAYS thank you Tampa for taking him off the Angels hands. I would much rather have LaTroy Hawkins than Fernando Rodney.

  27. hossmandu 4 years ago

    When “on” guy has some amazing stuff.  Problem is, he’s only been “on” two or three times a year last few.  

  28. Kendall Adkins 4 years ago

    I wish he would wear his hat straight. This is PROFESSIONAL baseball. 

  29. Guest 4 years ago

    Well… I hate the guy… but maybe the Rays know what they’re doing; they usually do.

  30. joeybw 4 years ago


    I used to be much better at faking excitement. We have better arms sitting in AAA, a very unnecessary move. Rodney is the type of RP that you sign when ST is about to start and you have like 5 relievers total on the 40 man. He’s not the guy you guarantee 2 million in January….

  31. Hasn’t Andrew Friedman shown everybody that he knows what he is doing? He is human, but most of the signings and trades end of benefiting the Rays in the long run. Jim Hickey transforms awful 4.00 ERA pitchers to lights out below 2.00 ERA pitchers.

  32. tbs 3 years ago

    reading all this 8 months later does anyone still think this was a bad move? lol!

  33. johnsilver 4 years ago

    I can see your point also. TB was looking for an established person with closing experience and thought he was worth the 2m gamble. friedman is a pretty smart guy, ya got to admit and not to keep harping on it.. But Kevin Gregg I just mentioned above had a 1.390 and landed 2/10m last year and has been literally ran out of town wherever he has pitched.

    Rodney ought to give them a pretty solid guy to go in the 7-8th inning and compare it to Jenks and the 2/12m he got last year also. it comes out as fairly reasonable.

  34. Phillies_Aces35 4 years ago

    … um no they don’t.

    They don’t miss on a lot of bottom-feeder type free agents but their big acquisitions, like Pat Burrell in 2009 were busts. So far their ventures into the bigger/middle class free agents have been unsuccessful, but they hit on so many bargain type free agents that it seems like they do no wrong.

  35. Philip Marlowe 4 years ago

    …Manny Ramirez?

  36. Grant 4 years ago

    Yes, but I feel we’ve had more success than failure: Benoit, Kotchman, Farnsworth, Peralta, Hinske, Floyd (both players were big for the team in 2008), etc.. Friedman has a great track record. So I’m pretty stoked about this acquisition

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