The Diamondbacks have agreed to a one-year deal with free agent reliever Fernando Rodney, Jon Heyman of FanRag writes (Twitter links). Rodney will receive $2.75MM guaranteed, plus considerable incentives, and he’ll open the year as the Diamondbacks’ closer. Heyman had previously tweeted that the Diamondbacks and Padres were in talks with Rodney, who is an Octagon client.
It was a tale of two seasons for the Rodney in 2016 — he was brilliant for the Padres to start the year, allowing just one earned run through 28 1/3 innings in San Diego, but then he allowed twice as many walks in 36 2/3 innings after a trade to Miami. His 5.89 ERA, 10.1 K/9 and 6.1 BB/9 in Florida led the Marlins to decline his 2017 option, which was effectively worth $4.5MM after incentives.
Where that leaves Rodney for 2017 is unclear — on one hand, he has closing experience, can still strike batters out and induce grounders, and managed to post a reasonable composite line in 2016 (3.44 ERA, 10.2 K/9, 5.1 BB/9). On the other hand, he faded down the stretch, walks too many batters, and will be 40 in March.
In any case, the Diamondbacks didn’t have an established closer, so the deal provides both player and team with an opportunity. Rodney can reestablish himself as a big-league closer. The Diamondbacks, who don’t appear likely to contend, can either keep him for the year or attempt to trade him, much as the Padres did last season — San Diego received a decent starting pitching prospect, Chris Paddack, when it dealt Rodney last June.