Fernando Rodney Rumors
Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski says this year's club was good, even though it had "shortcomings," according to MLB.com's Jason Beck. Here's how the GM plans on improving the Tigers:
- Dombrowski hasn't been handed a firm 2010 budget yet.
- He sounded prepared to move on if the club can't complete a reasonable deal with Placido Polanco. The GM says prospect Scott Sizemore is "ready to play."
- Expect the Tigers to rotate a number of players through the DH spot next year. Looks like Hideki Matsui, Jim Thome, Vladimir Guerrero and other free agent DHs can rule Detroit out for now unless they'd accept a part-time role.
- It sounds like the Tigers will fill their rotation out from within.
- The Tigers will emphasize plate discipline at all levels.
- It looks like Joel Zumaya will be able to throw as hard as ever next year.
- Brandon Lyon and Fernando Rodney will both be free agents after the postseason, so the Tigers don't have much certainty in the 'pen right now.
Magglio Ordonez has made his third plate appearance of the night in Detroit against the Royals, reaching base on an Alex Gordon error. The at-bat means his 2010 option has vested, as expected. Making his 1080th plate appearance in 2008 and 2009 combined, Ordonez reached the minimum number of PA required to guarantee his $18MM option.
When the Tigers benched and platooned the 35-year-old right fielder earlier in the year, it seemed unlikely that he would play enough to trigger the option, but a torrid second half (.364/.438/.521) has made it impossible for Jim Leyland to keep him out of the lineup.
While Ordonez's hot bat has helped the Tigers in their 2009 playoff push, his overall production has declined significantly. He has only homered seven times, after hitting 20-plus in each of the last three seasons. His age and injury history suggest the odds are against his 2010 numbers rebounding to his career averages of .311/.371/.512.
With $18MM now committed to Maggs next season, the Tigers will have less flexibility for other roster moves, such as re-signing or replacing closer Fernando Rodney and second baseman Placido Polanco.
A look at the American League saves leaderboard reveals some surprising names - David Aardsma with 32, Fernando Rodney with 30, and Andrew Bailey with 21.
Rodney, 33 this March, won the Tigers' closer job over Brandon Lyon in Spring Training despite trade rumors, shoulder problems, and a 4.91 ERA in 2008. Along with those 30 saves this year, Rodney cut his ERA to 3.22 despite his typical shaky control. Couple the walks with Rodney's age and injury history, and he'll make for a risky signing after the season.
Nonetheless, Lynn Henning of the Detroit News sees Rodney getting two or three years at $8-10MM per on the free agent market. Rodney's current salary, $2.7MM, was decided prior to his success in the ninth inning. Henning believes Rodney will be priced out of the Tigers' range for 2010 and beyond. Last we checked Rodney projected as a Type B, but a good September could make him an A. It certainly makes sense for the Tigers to at least offer arbitration.
Will Rodney get Kerry Wood ($20.5MM over two years) or even Brian Fuentes ($17.5MM over two years) money this winter? He'll be joined on the free agent market by closers such as Trevor Hoffman, Rafael Soriano, Mike Gonzalez, Jose Valverde, and perhaps Billy Wagner.
Lynn Henning of the Detroit News predicts how the Tigers will handle four impending free agents this offseason:
- Placido Polanco "will likely be allowed to chase free agency" as the Tigers look for another second baseman.
- The Tigers are thinking about Joel Zumaya as their 2010 closer, but they'll likely offer Fernando Rodney arbitration anyways. Henning says Rodney's a good bet to sign a multi-year deal elsewhere.
- Henning expects Brandon Lyon to receive an offer of arbitration.
The Tigers love Adam Everett and want him back, so much so that they may offer him a contract before he hits free agency.
9:16pm: Lynn Henning of The Detroit News has provided us some relevant quotes from Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski. He's optimistic that his club will be able to add some arms this offseason.
"Sometimes you go after high-profile guys, and sometimes you try and get not-so-high-profile guys," Dombrowski said Wednesday. We've been trying to do both... I don't think there's a dominant-type guy out there. No Joe Nathans or K-Rods. But I wouldn't be surprised if we added a couple of guys."
6:02pm: Tigers manager Jim Leyland told Tom Gage of the Detroit News Wednesday that his club is not done seeking bullpen help.
"I don't think we're done tinkering with the bullpen yet," said Leyland. "I think people might be surprised by what happens before spring training or during spring training. We'll get some things done that will upgrade our club. We're not done yet."
As it stands, Fernando Rodney appears to be the team's strongest ninth-inning option. Brandon Lyon, Chad Cordero, Joe Borowski, Jason Isringhausen and Luis Ayala are among the remaning free agent pitchers with closing experience.
According to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post, the Tigers avoided arbitration with reliever Fernando Rodney and signed him to a one-year deal worth $2.7MM. Rodney is the Tigers' closer-by-default at this point.
A few rumors we missed from Nick Cafardo's Sunday column...
- The Indians would want a young closer type in return for catcher Kelly Shoppach.
- The Tribe has Houston's Ty Wigginton on the radar as a third base possibility. But then who would play third for the Astros?
- The Yankees have been calling around aggressively, even inquiring on Roy Oswalt and Lance Berkman. They're not available.
- The Mets are said to be eyeing Raul Ibanez for left field.
- The Tigers are dangling setup man Fernando Rodney, hoping to acquire a better closer. Jon Paul Morosi believes the Tigers might aim for a reliever they control for a year or two, as their in-house options should be ready by 2010.
- A conflict might arise with the Angels hoping to sign Mark Teixeira quickly while Scott Boras plans to let the market develop.
John Perrotto from Baseball Prospectus has his Sunday column up. Here's the highlights:
- The Marlins have recalled Jesus Delgado, a right handed reliever, from Double-A Carolina with the intention of showcasing him for trading possibilities.
- The Cardinals have narrowed their search for a reliever and are now focusing on either Ron Mahay or Brian Fuentes.
- Detroit would be willing to include Fernando Rodney in a trade for a starting pitcher.
- The Orioles don't want to trade George Sherrill unless they are overwhelmed by an offer.
- San Diego is expected to activate Josh Bard from the DL this week, and will immediately place him on the trading block.
- Perrotto feels that Houston manager Cecil Cooper's job could be in danger after this season if the Astros fail to come up with a strong finish.
Jon Paul Morosi has a new name to add to the reliever market: Fernando Rodney of the Tigers. He says the Tigers "appear willing to include Rodney in trade offers."
Rodney, 31, has a 7.71 ERA in ten appearances this year. His season began in June due to shoulder tendinitis. He dealt with the same injury last year, but surgery was deemed unnecessary. Rodney is averaging 93.8 mph with his fastball this year, right in line with previous years. He'll be arbitration-eligible after this season and should hit free agency after the '09 season.