The Padres and right-hander Fernando Rodney are closing in on a contract, according to Jon Heyman (links to Twitter). Rodney, who turns 39 this spring, is expected to enter camp as the favorite to close games in San Diego, per Heyman. Recently, Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that the Padres were still in the mix for Rodney and could offer ninth-inning time as a means of enticing him. Rodney is represented by Octagon.
Rodney spent most of the past two seasons in Seattle, although his second season as the Mariners’ closer didn’t go nearly as well as the first. After recording a 2.85 ERA with 10.3 K/9, 3.8 BB/9 and a 48.6 percent ground-ball rate in 2014, the “Fernando Rodney Experience” turned sour in Seattle when he struggled to a 5.68 ERA and lost the grip on the closer’s role in 2015. Rodney would go on to rebound following a DFA and a trade to the Cubs, however, as he surrendered just one earned run with a 15-to-4 K/BB ratio in 12 innings with the Cubs and made the team’s postseason roster.
While Rodney’s career has been somewhat of a roller coaster, the veteran has posted a cumulative 2.80 ERA over the past four seasons and still averaged a very healthy 94.7 mph on his fastball between time with Seattle and Chicago last season. If a deal is finalized and Rodney does indeed land ninth-inning duties for the Friars. he’ll be supported by a cast of setup men including Kevin Quackenbush, Drew Pomeranz and Nick Vincent, as right-hander Brandon Maurer is slated to re-enter the rotation in Spring Training.