Twins Sign Closer Rodney To One-Year Deal
Image courtesy of Peter G. Aiken, USA TodayRecently, 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.