Fernando Rodney Rumors

Quick Hits: Pedroia, Rodney, Expos, Morneau

The Braves played their first ever game in Atlanta on this date in 1966. The contest featured two home runs from Joe Torre, but the Pirates won 3-2. Here are today's links…

  • Ian Kinsler recently signed an extension with the Rangers, even though he was already under team control through 2013. How about Dustin Pedroia, who’s under contract through 2014 with an $11MM club option for for 2015? Pedroia tells Rob Bradford of WEEI.com that he wants to stay in Boston and play for the Red Sox. His agent, Seth Levinson, says "Dustin's value far transcends his statistics."
  • Manager Jim Leyland said the Tigers were "quietly interested" in Fernando Rodney before he signed with the Rays, MLB.com's Jason Beck reports. The former Tigers reliever has yet to allow a baserunner in four outings with his new club.
  • Former Expos GM Omar Minaya explained to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports that the deal that sent Brandon Phillips, Cliff Lee and Grady Sizemore to Cleveland occurred under highly unusual circumstances. “Long-term, we were going to be contracted,” he said. “And if you were going to be contracted, the No. 1 priority was to be as competitive as you can.” Minaya, now the Padres’ senior VP of baseball operations, and Mark Shapiro of the Indians completed the fateful Bartolo Colon trade ten years ago.
  • Jim Bowden of ESPN.com couldn’t find any GMs interested in trading for Justin Morneau. The Twins first baseman earns $14MM per season in 2012 and 2013, but Bowden wonders if the Rangers or Yankees could show interest later this summer.

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. 

Quick Hits: Konerko, Cameron, Rockies

Congratulations to Tim Wakefield, who won his 200th career game tonight. Here are this evening's links, starting with updates on two players who were traded for one another 13 years ago…

  • White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that he might retire after 2013, when his current contract expires. The 35-year-old has a terrific .308/.395/.528 line with 29 homers in the first season of the three-year, $37.5MM deal he signed last offseason.
  • The Marlins released Mike Cameron because of conduct detrimental to the team, according to MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro
  • The Braves have increased the responsibilities of three front office members following the departure of director of player personnel Kurt Kemp, according to Carroll Rogers of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Assistant GM Bruce Manno will oversee player development, Ronnie Richardson was promoted to director of minor league operations and John Coppolella was promoted to director of professional scouting.
  • Troy Renck of the Denver Post can see the Rockies pursuing Michael Cuddyer and Josh Willingham this offseason (Twitter links). 
  • Renck also suggests Jason Hammel is available. Hammel's strikeout rate (5.0 K/9) and ground ball rate (43.5%) dropped this season, while his ERA (4.91) and walk rate (3.7 BB/9) rose, so his trade value is considerably lower than it would have been last winter. The 29-year-old is under contract for $4.75MM in 2012.
  • Fernando Rodney told Mark Saxon of ESPNLosAngeles.com that he would have liked more chances to close with the Angels this year. The right-hander will look to sign with a team that can provide him with more regular work when his two-year contract expires after the season.

Michael Young Rumors: Wednesday

The Rockies aren't in on Michael Young, but other clubs have at least some interest in the Rangers infielder. Young would consider trades on a case-by-case basis, though he can veto deals to teams other than the Cardinals, Yankees, Twins, Astros, Rockies, Dodgers, Angels and Padres. Yesterday we found out that the Cardinals, Twins, Mariners and Tigers have little or no interest in Young. The Astros, however, like Young's tools to an extent and might consider sending Carlos Lee to the Rangers for him. Here's the latest on Young, with the most recent updates up top:

  • The Phillies recently contacted the Rangers to express interest in Young, three league sources told Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com.  The talks ultimately didn't get very far and are no longer active.  One of the sources characterized the interaction as "tire kicking" on the part of the Phillies.  It should be noted that the Phillies are not one of the eight clubs that Young would approve trades to, though the 34-year-old says that he would consider deals to teams not on the list.
  • The Yankees aren't expected to pursue Young, according to ESPN.com's Buster Olney (on Twitter).
  • Several people involved with the Young situation tell Jon Heyman of SI.com that they believe there’s a “decent chance” that the Rangers open Spring Training with Young. Texas is talking to multiple teams about Young and for now the Rangers are discussing deals with clubs that Young would accept trades to.
  • The Angels have little interest in picking up most of Young’s contract or assembling a package of players that would appeal to the Rangers, according to Mike DiGiovanna and Steve Dilbeck of the LA Times. Texas is looking for starting pitching and a position player who can help at the Major League level. The Angels would part with Scott Kazmir and Fernando Rodney, but those players have little appeal to the Rangers.
  • The Dodgers have some concern about Young’s defense and power, according to DiGiovanna and Dilbeck.
  • The Mets should consider acquiring Young, writes Joel Sherman of the New York Post. The Mets could send Jason Bay to the Rangers, who are known to be seeking a DH type, and New York could then either keep Young or flip him to another team, with net salary savings in either scenario.

Odds & Ends: Tigers, Zobrist, Posey, Crisp

Sunday night linkage..

Angels Reach Agreement With Fernando Rodney

2:57pm: The Angels have agreed to terms with Fernando Rodney, according to ESPNDeportes.com's Enrique Rojas (Jayson Stark of ESPN.com provides an english version of the story). Rodney will sign a two-year deal worth $11MM, pending a physical.

WEDNESDAY, 11:58am: ESPN.com's Jayson Stark hears that Rodney won't end up in Philadelphia. Instead, the Phillies will look for bargains in the new year. Stark mentions Danys Baez as a possibility for the Phils.

7:00pm: ESPN's Buster Olney tweets that the Phillies are interested in Rodney as well, at two years and $12MM. Nice little offer.

TUESDAY, 1:07pm:The Angels are in serious discussions with free agent reliever Fernando Rodney, reports ESPN's Jayson Stark.  The Angels are a nice match for Rodney, as the number of teams with closing opportunities is dwindling.  The Angels are already on the hook for $9MM for Brian Fuentes next year, but if they bump him to a setup role they can prevent his 2011 option from vesting.

Rodney, 33 in March, posted a 4.40 ERA, 7.3 K/9, and 4.9 BB/9 in 75.6 innings.  Not very impressive numbers, but he can at least boast of saving 37 games in 38 tries.  Rodney operates with a mid-90s fastball and a mid-80s changeup.  Since he's a Type B free agent who turned down arbitration, the Tigers will gain a supplemental draft pick if he signs elsewhere.

Orioles Seeking Closer, Corner Infielders

Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun dishes the latest Orioles hot stove news…

  • The Orioles contacted the agents for a few of Saturday's non-tendered players, including reliever Matt Capps.  Capps' agent has mentioned his client's desire to close as a major factor, and the Orioles could accomodate.  However, Connolly names Fernando Rodney as Baltimore's top target at closer.  Mike Gonzalez, Jose Valverde, and Kevin Gregg are also of interest, though Gonzalez and Valverde are dinged for the draft pick cost.
  • The Orioles need help at the infield corners, and they've contacted the agents for a long list of free agents: Carlos Delgado, Hank Blalock, Joe Crede, Nick Johnson, Ryan Garko, Garrett Atkins, and Mike Jacobs.  I think they'd be best-served by adding Delgado and Crede.  Your thoughts?
  • Connolly indicates that about 25, rather than 15, teams were on hand to watch Aroldis Chapman yesterday.  So the list of teams not monitoring Chapman is shorter.  The Orioles remain involved.

Phillies Rumors: Rodney, Smoltz, Gload

There's more going on with the Phillies than the big trade. Here are the details:

Mets, Phillies, Orioles Interested In Rodney

The Mets, Phillies, and Orioles are all "in" on Fernando Rodneytweets Jorge Arangure of ESPN.com. However, Arangure adds that nothing appears imminent at this point.

What kind of contract offer would you extend to Rodney, who will turn 33 before Opening Day?

Odds & Ends: Balfour, Orioles, Chapman, Lowe

Rounding up the first batch of miscellaneous Sunday links….

  • The Rays agreed to terms with reliever Grant Balfour, according to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times. Balfour signed a one-year, $2.05MM deal, avoiding arbitration.
  • The Baltimore Orioles are still searching for a closer, writes Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. Zrebiec suggests that Fernando Rodney and Kevin Gregg could be atop the O's list of targets.
  • MASN's Roch Kubatko runs down the Orioles' closing options too, adding new free agent Matt Capps to the mix.
  • Meanwhile, Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette has reaction from GM Neal Huntington, who says that media reports of the 26-year-old being non-tendered hurt his trade value.  Huntington also said that the Bucs would "love" to have him back in the bullpen – at the right price.  Capps isn't on the Yankees radar, says Marc Carig of the Newark Star-Ledger (via Twitter).
  • John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press writes that the Tigers' closer search also continues. The team was looking at J.J. Putz, but backed off because of health questions, not money concerns.
  • Tuesday could be "Judgment Day" for Aroldis Chapman, according to MLB.com's Alden Gonzalez. Chapman will throw a session with a slew of teams expected to be in attendance.
  • Within a piece which focuses on yesterday's non-tender decisions, ESPN.com's Buster Olney mentions that a handful of clubs are interested in Brian Giles, including the Yankees and Reds. It's still up in the air whether teams will be willing to offer Giles more than a minor league contract.
  • One interesting tidbit from the latest article by Newsday's Ken Davidoff: An AL West official tells Davidoff that he'd like to see Jered Weaver, rather than Joe Saunders, leaving the division in a potential Roy Halladay trade offer. I have to think Jays fans would agree. Both pitchers were selected 12th overall in their respective drafts: Saunders in 2002 and Weaver in 2004.
  • Speaking of the AL West, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports thinks it's the most intriguing division for hot stove news this winter.
  • David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (via Twitter) says that the Angels are a possible destination for Derek Lowe if they cannot re-sign John Lackey.  Other possibilities include the Mariners, Red Sox and Yanks.  O'Brien also suggests the Mets, provided that the Braves are willing to trade within their division.