Posted by: gravessack | December 15, 2017

Twins’ Winter Meetings Splash: Signing Rodney

This year’s winter meetings, which were held in Orlando, concluded December 14. The Twins, who have said to be on the lookout for “top-tier pitching,” left without the guy they desperately want in starter Yu Darvish. General Manager Thad Levine knew though that they could not head home without snatching up a couple of pitchers to show they are improving their team. On the last day of the annual frenzy, the Twins made a splash of some sort. Time will tell if it is a big one!

In the early morning, reports started to swirl that Minnesota and Detroit were in deep discussions to lure closer Fernando Rodney to their respective clubs. Moments later, the Twins announced that they indeed signed the closer to a one-year deal worth $4.5 million, including a 2019 team option, which became official just after noon on December 15.

Rodney has pitched for numerous teams in his 15-year career. The 41-year-old made his mark starting in 2002 with the Tigers. Current Twins relief pitcher Fernado Rodney pretending to shoot a bow and arrow toward the sky as a player for the Miami MarlinsDuring his tenure in Detroit, Rodney saved 70 games, struck out 314, en route to a 4.28 ERA. When he left their organization in 2009, Rodney ventured west and joined Anaheim for two seasons. With the Angels, he recorded just 17 saves. However, he rebounded when he joined the Rays after the 2011 season, when he had a 1.91 ERA and 85 saves.

After two years in Florida, Rodney was off to Seattle. Playing in the northwest for a couple of seasons, he had 64 saves while striking out 119. In the last four seasons, the three-time All-Star was with the Padres, Diamondbacks, Cubs, and the Marlins. In those years, Rodney racked up 64 saves and struck out 154 batters. Throughout his career, he has been known as a flamethrower, but has been erratic at times, allowing a total of 404 walks and 53 wild pitches.

Taking over as the eldest of the club (for now), Rodney will bring his expertise to a bullpen that is looking to find the magic touch. The signing of the righty is a relief in that Levine is an out-of-the-box thinker and that he is willing to do anything to help the Twins.

After passing his physical, Rodney said that the Twins told him that he will be taking over the closer role, since Brandon Kintzler will be staying with the Nationals. Rodney is definitely the most experienced closer on the team, as he recorded 39 saves in 2017. Hopefully, Rodney will have one of his good years and we see him pretend to shoot a bow and arrow toward the sky, his signature move when he gets the final out of a game, many times!

Written by: Michael L. Sack

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