The Athletics announced Tuesday that they’ve released veteran right-hander Fernando Rodney. He’d been designated for assignment over the weekend.
Rodney, 42, got out to an awful start with the A’s this season, pitching to a 9.42 ERA through 14 1/3 innings of work. In that series of 17 appearances, he’s allowed 20 hits (two homers) and a dozen walks while picking up 14 strikeouts. While he’s still throwing fairly hard, particularly given his age, the right-hander’ 93.1 mph average fastball is down noticeably from last season’s 94.2 mph average.
Rodney showed some cracks in 2018 after the A’s acquired him from the Twins in an August swap that sent minor league righty Dakota Chalmers to Minnesota — namely issuing 13 walks in his 20 2/3 frames following the trade. His overall season, however, was solid, and the A’s felt comfortable enough that they exercised a $5.25MM club option over the righty for the 2019 season.
There’s still about $3.53MM of that salary remaining to be paid out through season’s end, and the A’s will be on the hook for the entirety of that sum. Rodney will be free to sign with any club, and a new team would only need to pay him the prorated league minimum for any time he spends on the big league roster. That sum would be subtracted from the Athletics’ remaining obligation to Rodney.