The Minnesota Twins are reportedly considering keeping Fernando Rodney in 2019 rather than trading him before the end of August.
The Minnesota Twins spent the offseason bolstering their roster with plenty of short-term contracts. While the season has blown up in the Twins face and the Twins have traded away several of those free agent additions, one might be back in Minnesota for the 2019 season.
In an article at the Star Tribune by beat writer LaVelle E. Neal III which outlines August trade candidates, Neal mentions that the Twins front office is leaning towards exercising Fernando Rodney’s 2019 option. Neal also writes that it would take a “very nice offer” to move Rodney in August.
Looking at Rodney’s track record and the fact he wasn’t moved at the trade deadline, it makes sense that a contending team may be hesitant to make a move for Rodney. In 2018, Rodney has appeared in 44 games for the Twins and owns a 3.24 ERA and a 10.2 K/9. Which all in all, is a pretty solid season from the 41-year-old closer, but there is still a negative aspect to his performance this season.
The negative is that Rodney came as advertised. The whole Fernando Rodney experience has been on display this season. From the awesome entrance when he comes into close a game. To the heart palpitations as he allows a few more runners on base than we would like. In a losing season, we have still seen Rodney record 23 saves and strikeout 47 batters for the Twins.
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Now it would seem very likely that the Twins might want to look and find someone else to fill the closer role in 2019 other than Rodney. It could be tricky to actually secure someone on the free agent market as it is always unpredictable. Instead of being left without a closer at the end of the offseason. It may be smart to have Rodney already secured as he is still a quality and affordable option to bring back. We have also seen this season that Rodney still can be effective in today’s game of baseball. He just needs to remember when to appropriately use his fastball and changeup and not rely on one or the other too heavily.
Another option for the Twins would be to pick up Rodney’s $4.25 million option and ask him to move into a setup role. With Ryan Pressly now with the Houston Astros, Rodney still possesses the type of strikeout ability where he could potentially fill the role Pressly did before his trade. Pressly is a far better strikeout pitcher at a 13.0 K/9 than Rodney and much younger, but it could work if Rodney would agree to it.
While it is likely many fans would like to save themselves a trip to the doctor’s office for heart issues and see Rodney walk. It sounds like the team is at least considering a continued relationship through 2019. In a game where “bullpen-ing” is becoming a thing, there are worse options out there than the Fernando Rodney experience.