Report: Nats take flier on Fernando Rodney

Josh Luckenbaugh
June 02, 2019 - 11:57 am
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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

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The Nationals reportedly continued their bargain-shopping in the bullpen market Saturday, signing veteran reliever Fernando Rodney to a minor-league deal. 

Per Jesse Dougherty of The Washington Post, Rodney will begin with the Fresno Grizzlies, Washington's Triple-A affiliate. 

Now in his 17th MLB season, Rodney has made three All-Star teams, saved 325 games, and holds a career ERA of 3.79. However, the 42-year old got off to a rough start this season with the Oakland Athletics, going 0-2 with a 9.42 ERA in 17 appearances, and was designated for assignment May 25 before he was released three days later on May 28. 

Rodney now gets a second chance in a Nationals organization desperate for bullpen help. Despite pitching five scoreless innings in Saturday's win over the Reds, Washington's relievers still have the worst combined ERA (6.85 entering Sunday) of any bullpen in baseball. 

While some have called for the Nats to go after the likes of Craig Kimbrel, who remains a free agent, they've instead looked for reclamation projects like Rodney and signed them to cheap deals in the hope they can regain form and help the big league ballclub. 

In addition to Rodney, the Nats have brought in veteran MLB relievers Jonny Venters, Javy Guerra, Dan Jennings, and George Kontos this season. For the most part, these are low-risk, potentially high-reward moves, but as Jennings and his 13.50 ERA in eight appearances proved, they don't always pay off. 

At this stage of his career, it's just likely Rodney never makes it to the major league roster as it is him rediscovering his All-Star form. But man, wouldn't it be great to see him do his iconic bow and arrow celebration on the Nationals Park mound?

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