The Padres haven’t yet shut the door on free agent right-hander Fernando Rodney, according to Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune (Twitter link). The Friars may, in fact, try to lure Rodney to San Diego by offering him the opportunity to close games. San Diego has been connected to Rodney on and off for the past couple of weeks. While the 38-year-old Rodney had disastrous results in Seattle last season — he logged a 5.68 ERA with 7.6 K/9 against 4.4 BB/9 and lost the closer’s role before being designated for assignment — he had a nice turnaround following a trade to the Cubs. While it was only a sample of a dozen innings, Rodney yielded just one earned run and recorded a 15-to-4 K/BB ratio in that time. Although the “Fernando Rodney Experience” certainly wore out its welcome in Seattle, the right-hander has drawn interest from the Blue Jays and Cubs as of late (though the Toronto connections pre-dated their acquisition of Drew Storen).
A couple more notes on the Padres…
- Specifics of Alexei Ramirez’s reported one-year deal with the Padres have yet to emerge, but Lin reports that the contract allows San Diego to at least consider making further free-agent upgrades. While the Padres are reluctant to pursue players with draft pick compensation attached, according to Lin, the club could look for upgrades in the bullpen or in the outfield. Lin also notes that GM A.J. Preller has long been a fan of Ramirez and was dispatching scouts to keep an eye on him as early as April of this past season.
- Right-hander Brandon Maurer will report to Spring Training with the opportunity to win a job in the starting rotation, Preller told MLB.com’s Corey Brock earlier this week. “One of the things is he wants to do it,” Preller explained. “You put a lot of stock in that.” Maurer, of course, came up through the Mariners’ system as a starting pitcher but struggled in multiple big league auditions before dominating upon a transition to the bullpen. While Maurer is striving for a starting role, offseason pickup Drew Pomeranz will probably work in relief, according to Brock.