Twins closer Fernando Rodney is one of several relievers the Red Sox are considering as trade targets, ESPN.com’s Jerry Crasnick reports (Twitter link). Rodney is a known commodity to Boston president of baseball operations Dave Dombrowski, Crasnick notes, from their time together when Dombrowski was the Tigers’ general manager.
With the Twins out of contention and reportedly open to becoming deadline sellers, Rodney stands out as one of the most obvious trade chips on Minnesota’s roster. The 16-year veteran has posted a 2.97 ERA, 10.1 K/9, and a 3.09 K/BB rate over 30 1/3 IP, earning 18 saves along the way. ERA predictors like FIP (3.44), xFIP (3.77) and SIERA (3.34) are a bit less impressed by Rodney’s performance, and he is posting his lowest grounder rate (43.4%) in the last ten seasons, though his overall numbers are still quite sound, particularly for a pitcher who celebrated his 41st birthday back in March.
Rodney isn’t exactly known for clean innings in high-pressure situations over his long career in the game, though with Craig Kimbrel locked into the closer’s role in Boston, the Sox would use Rodney as a setup option. Though Boston’s bullpen ranks within the top ten in most statistical categories, the team has still been looking to bolster its relief corps before the deadline, with the likes of Raisel Iglesias, Zach Britton, and several late-inning Marlins arms all linked to the Red Sox in trade rumors. The Sox also had interest in Kelvin Herrera before he was dealt to Washington.
Rodney would likely require a smaller price tag than any of these names, given his age and the fact that his contract is only guaranteed through this season; he is controllable through 2019 via a $4.25MM club option (with a $250K buyout). Rodney is only owed roughly $2.05MM for the remainder of the season, which could make him particularly attractive to a Red Sox team that is trying to stay under the maximum luxury tax threshold of $237MM.