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Twins Sign Closer Rodney To One-Year Deal

The Twins headed into the Winter Meetings with almost zero closing experience on their roster. They will exit with a wealth of it.

On Thursday the team agreed to terms with veteran reliever Fernando Rodney, who ranks third among active major-league players with 300 career saves. Craig Mish reports that it’s a one-year, $6 million deal.
Image courtesy of Peter G. Aiken, USA Today
Recently, Twins GM Thad Levine explained that he’s open-minded about his future closer already being on the roster, but made clear he wasn’t keen on throwing any of the internal options directly into that role.

Based on this mindset, Rodney is a very logical fit. He doesn’t require an extensive commitment, allowing Minnesota to retain plenty of flexibility going forward. He adds a healthy infusion of veteran experience to a bullpen that clearly lacked it. And there are plenty of signs to suggest he’s capable of being a force in the late innings.

One might look at Rodney’s 4.23 ERA from 2017 and presume he’s in decline. After all, he does turn 41 in March. But a closer look suggests that the right-hander significantly outperformed his inflated ERA. He posted a 3.03 FIP, registered his best strikeout rate since 2013 (10.6 K/9), and was dominant in the second half (17 out of 18 saves converted, 2.55 ERA, .189 BAA, 31-to-8 K/BB in 25 innings).

Over the past six seasons, Rodney has been tremendously durable, making 61 or more appearances in each. He has also mostly been very effective, landing on three All Star teams while posting a 3.11 ERA, 3.22 FIP, and 1.23 WHIP.

Known as much for his amusing style on the field as his performance (he wears his hat cocked to the side and shoots an imaginary arrow into the sky after every successful save), Rodney is sure to become a source of entertaining for fans, as well as anxiety. His clearest blemish is a lack of control (4.4 BB/9 career, 4.2 in 2017), so the Twins will need to hope he can continue keeping the contact in check.

We’ll have further analysis of the move soon, but feel free to share your initial thoughts in the comments section below.


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213 Comments

A solid signing. the money is fine, I like that's it's a 1 year deal considering how many power arms we have in the system in relief roles that could easily emerge.The experience will probably help some of the younger relievers adjust, and it looks like he should still be effective...and if it turns out he's cooked it won't be hard to move on.

 

Good move to bolster the roster.

    • bluechipper, howieramone2, Shaitan and 2 others like this

I'm tired of the arrow already, but I'll definitely take what precedes it.  

    • bluechipper, spanman2, KirbyDome89 and 1 other like this
Its like signing Beliesle but with more Ks. He had the same results being unscored on in 50 of 61 appearances and had 5 appearances where he gave up most his runs. Just like Beliesle.
    • howieramone2 likes this

Twins really must believe in the young arms...especially if he is the only signing in the bullpen.  There were some good arms that were signed to reasonable deals.

    • Dman and Battle ur tail off like this

Yeah, not a huge move but he's an upgrade and I'm ok with him closing and having other (better) options pitch in different parts of the game.

 

And if my mental math is right, we've added about 7m or so to payroll this offseason. Not sure we can do much more and sign Darvish.

    • Sconnie and KidBro like this

 

Updated to 1 year, $4.5 million deal with $1.5 million in very attainable incentives. 

    • hybridbear and MN_ExPat like this
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FunnyPenguin
Dec 14 2017 10:44 AM

Pretty hard to complain about this....low money one year deal with a chance to be a nice bullpen addition and a mentor to the younsters.With Busentiz, Rogers, Hildenberger and Curtiss all in, it's not too bad but sure wouldn't mind a quality veteran signing.

    • puckstopper1 and Dozier's Glorious Hair like this

 

I'm tired of the arrow already, but I'll definitely take what precedes it.  

 

It's almost as bad/annoying as that dumb parrot of Edwin Encarnacion's!

    • ThejacKmp, bluechipper, big dog and 3 others like this

 

Twins really must believe in the young arms...especially if he is the only signing in the bullpen.  There were some good arms that were signed to reasonable deals.

We will certainly see some minor league signings with a high likelihood of making the roster after 60 day DL moves. The Twins have done fairly well with those and there will be some experienced, though initially unexciting, names there as well.

    • Han Joelo likes this
I know we are all about value, but i think the difference in what Kintzler got and what we gave Rodney is justifiable and we could have signed him too.

If Rodney's arm hasn't fallen off yet, it never will. And this is cheap.

 

A dependable closer makes a huge difference. Rodney isn't "lights out" (he never has been) but he is dependable when it matters. Much better than a Ron Davis type who is the opposite.

 

Lots to like here.

    • Dozier's Glorious Hair likes this

I sure hope that he is not the closer.Won't mind him as a 7th-8th inning guy, but the Twins need better and younger end of the pen arms.

 

And I hope they make a rule about wearing ballcaps the proper way.

    • messed up, Danchat, jud6312 and 1 other like this

Now get Darvish signed.

    • Ryan Atkins, SwainZag, notoriousgod71 and 6 others like this

 

Now get Darvish signed.

 

Chuckles.I'll believe it when i see it.

    • gunnarthor and notoriousgod71 like this
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Carole Keller
Dec 14 2017 11:07 AM

Not a fan of this signing ... said it in one of the other threads.

    • diehardtwinsfan, Twins33, messed up and 5 others like this
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puckstopper1
Dec 14 2017 11:09 AM

More upside to this than downside, IMO.

Blech. I don't know why people care about it being cheap. For another 2MM a year they could have had a good RP. Why do people care it was cheap?

 

They had a bad bullpen last year, and they are pretty much doubling down on last year's strategy. Cheap old veteran and rule V pick....

    • USAFChief, gil4, Twins33 and 11 others like this
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BuxtonBandwagon
Dec 14 2017 11:11 AM

Kanley, Duffy, Pressley, Busenitz, Rogers, Hildenberger, Rodney

 

This our bullpen when we head Minnesota in late March? Little underwhelming for what everyone was saying they thought they would do.

 

But if Kanley is OK, and guys like Curtis, Jay, Reed, Eades, Moya step up and just one can have the impact Hildy did it'll look a lot better. Also if Pineda joins the pen in September he could maybe be an impact arm.

 

I really hope we're all in on Darvish though...

Just checking. But if my math is correct for this upcoming year's payroll we have spent $2 million on Pineda and $4.5 million on Rodney. So they should have some money to spend on one of Darvish, Arrietta, Lynn or Cobb. 

 

As far as bullpen, Addison Reed is out there. The roster is at 39, so if we sign one starter and one more reliever I would say that Dietrich Ens would probably be the one to go. 

Strikes me as an acceptable second reliever to add this offseason. Just need the first one. And a starter. And maybe a second starter. And perhaps a RH bat.

    • USAFChief, Mike Sixel, diehardtwinsfan and 4 others like this

 

Blech. I don't know why people care about it being cheap. For another 2MM a year they could have had a good RP. Why do people care it was cheap?

 

Years, not AAV.

 

Strikes me as an acceptable second reliever to add this offseason. Just need the first one. And a starter. And maybe a second starter. And perhaps a RH bat.

 

good luck with that. 

    • jimmer and jud6312 like this

I don't have any problems with this. He was reasonably successful last year and it is a short term deal for modest money.

Overall I am not a fan of spending big money in the bullpen or long contracts. Too much volatility but this should add a decent (but not great) arm into the 7th/8th/9th inning and I don't even care which role he takes. Who the actual closer is is overrated anyway.

    • ThejacKmp, Deduno Abides, twinssouth and 1 other like this

 

Years, not AAV.

 

two years for a good RP is somehow that much worse than 1 year of a mediocre, old, one?

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Winston Smith
Dec 14 2017 11:14 AM

It's hard to expend much energy thinking about the off season to this point.

    • notoriousgod71 likes this

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