The Marlins will decline reliever Fernando Rodney’s 2017 option, per Jon Heyman of Fan Rag (via Twitter) — and as various reporters, including MLB.com’s Joe Frisaro, have previously suggested would occur. Previous reporting had indicated the Marlins were interested in trading Rodney, but it appears they couldn’t find a deal they like, and Rodney will become a free agent. The Marlins will pay Rodney a $400K buyout.
Rodney’s contract, originally signed with the Padres, called for the option to carry a base salary of $2MM, but he cleared bonuses in 2016 that brought the value of the option to $4.5MM. That was, evidently, more than the Marlins were willing to pay, which perhaps is understandable — Rodney will be 40 before the start of the 2017 season, and he struggled in Miami, posting a 5.89 ERA, 10.1 K/9 and 6.1 BB/9 in 36 2/3 innings there after arriving in a June trade for prospect Chris Paddack. He eventually lost the closer role to A.J. Ramos, the same pitcher he had originally displaced.
Nonetheless, Rodney pitched very well for the Padres at the start of the season, and his overall numbers for the year (3.44 ERA, 10.2 K/9 and 5.1 BB/9 in 65 1/3 innings) suggest he’ll attract real interest on the open market this winter, particularly given his experience closing. He still gets grounders, too, with a 55.2% groundball rate on the year. If teams believe that the veteran can tamp down his home run susceptibility — 16.1% HR/FB rate in 2015, 13.5% last year — then he ought to hold quite a bit of appeal, particularly with his average fastball still averaging better then 95 mph.