Fernando Rodney free agency: Yankees out, Mets and Mariners in play for reliever?
By Noah Jarosh on Jan 29 2014, 1:21p
Rodney is one of the top remaining free agent relief options and could find a new home soon.
Fernando Rodney has been receiving greater interest on the free agent market recently after Grant Balfour signed a deal with the Rays. As one of the last remaining top relief options available, Rodney has received interest from the Mets, Orioles and Mariners while the Yankees have talked to him but may not have the funds available to lure Rodney in.
The Mets remain the team most often mentioned in connection to Rodney. The team’s bid for Grant Balfour has ramped up those rumors as it demonstrates a willingness to spend on a front-line reliever, reports the New York Daily News. The Mets have been talking to Rodney’s representatives as well, though he may prefer to go somewhere that does not already have an established closer. The Mets currently have Bobby Parnell at the back of their bullpen, though he is recovering from neck surgery.
The Yankees, meanwhile, do not appear to have a great interest in Rodney though that could change. The two sides had one conversation back in November but have not talked since, according to the Daily News. The Yankees bullpen does not appear to be a strength going into this year, particularly after the loss of Mariano Rivera to retirement. However, Yankees management claims to not have payroll flexibility remaining to sign a veteran like Rodney. The club might just instead hope for the best as bullpens can be notoriously inconsistent. The current crew the team has lined up may either bomb completely or wind up being wildly successful. Such is the nature of relief pitching.
The Mariners have emerged as another candidate to acquire Rodney’s services, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. Seattle has made a couple of big moves by signing Robinson Cano and Corey Hart and trading for Logan Morrison. They also have a youthful lineup and a strong starting rotation. Danny Farquhar and Tom Wilhelmsen, who split closing duties in 2013, both had ERAs over 4.10. The team’s 4.58 bullpen ERA in 2013 was the second-worst in the majors.
Rodney has also been drawing strong interest from the Baltimore Orioles, whose deal with Grant Balfour fell through and who are looking for an established closer after trading Jim Johnson earlier in the offseason.