The Arizona Diamondbacks deal with Fernando Rodney should have the domino-effect as the team aims to acquire more arms for the bullpen.
The Arizona Diamondbacks went into the Winter Meetings with a plan to acquire some relief arms for the bullpen. And, well, they did it.
It was announced late Monday night that they were close to reaching a deal with the 39-year old reliever. On Tuesday, the two sides had apparently reached a deal worth $2.75 million deal for just one year.
Rodney compiled a 2-4 record and a 3.44 ERA in 2016 with the San Diego Padres and the Miami Marlins. Rodney will be entering his fifteenth season next year, and likely serves as the Diamondbacks closer if it were decided right now.
There are several reasons as to why I like the Rodney deal, and why I believe he’ll do well in the desert next season.
First of all, the Diamondbacks knew they weren’t in play for the big name closers like Kenley Jansen, Mark Melancon, and Aroldis Chapman. So they went the affordable route and decided to give Rodney a deal. They clearly need some help in the bullpen, and need more than just one veteran arm.
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I think this Rodney move will set up possibly one or two more moves for a relief arm. Like I mentioned in an earlier post, the D-Backs have been in play for several solid left-handed relief options. I’d like to see them bring back Brad Ziegler and Daniel Hudson, as both would play tremendous roles in the improved bullpen.
Secondly, I think Rodney is a pretty fair option that wouldn’t cost the Diamondbacks an arm and a leg. Rodney has been in the league for over a decade now, and has had some good runs in many different uniforms. He’s had five different seasons in which he’s racked up more than 20 saves, including 48 in ’12 and ’14 with the Tampa Bay Rays and Seattle Mariners.
Rodney is a three-time All-Star, and earned the rights to his first Closer of the Year Award with the Mariners in 2012. He’s had some success in both leagues, and should play a good role with the D-Backs’ young arms as a mentor.
It’s no secret that Rodney isn’t getting any younger. In fact, he’ll turn 40 before Opening Day. But this is also the same 39-year old who allowed just one earned run over 28.2 innings over work in 28 games with the Padres last year.
I like this move because it has the low-risk, high-reward feel to it. Knowing he couldn’t go out and get a Jansen or a Chapman, general manager Mike Hazen settled with something more affordable, but fairly efficient.
If this is the only move Hazen makes when attempting to beef up the bullpen, then it would be a failed off-season. But I don’t think this is the only move he’ll make regarding the bullpen.
The acquisition of Rodney should serve as a stepping stone that leads to several other moves, if done correctly. Now we just wait for Hazen’s dominoes to fall..