The Tampa Bay Rays just signed former Detroit Tigers and Los Angeles Angels closer Fernando Rodney. Rodney, a somewhat controversial figure, has received mixed reactions about him signing in St. Pete. Let's take a look at them:
Basically, Rodney's just been walking too many dang guys: 5.6 per nine innings since the beginning of 2008. Rodney throws as hard as ever, routinely hitting the middle 90s with his fastball. He's just not hitting his spots as often as he used to. And there's no obvious reason to think he's going to.
My first thought: I was all ready to hate this deal, but the option year has me intrigued. The Rays have obviously had success in the past in helping pitchers with control issues, and Rodney's control is the only real thing preventing him from becoming a dominant back-end reliever like Grant Balfour.
The only thing I could remember about Rodney was him blowing away hitters as closer for the Detroit Tigers. I knew he was signed by the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, but I had absolutely no idea what became of him and I didn't really care because he was supplanted at closer by the Angels' standout rookie, Jordan Walden. But what I first took a look at his stats, I was pretty surprised at what I saw. The past four years, Rodney's ERA has been 4.20 or higher and his FIP has been 4.00 or higher every season, with his topping out at 4.91 in 2008 and his FIP peaking at 4.71 in 2011.