Should The Pirates Consider Fernando Rodney?

The Pittsburgh Pirates need to add at least one bullpen arm this offseason, could Fernando Rodney be a fit in the Pittsburgh bullpen?

Major League Baseball free agency has begun. And today the Miami Marlins declined their option of reliever Fernando Rodney for 2017. Due to this, the right-handed relief pitcher has become a free agent.

The 39-year old Rodney has pitched in the Major Leagues for 14 seasons now. During these 14 seasons he has pitched for Detroit, Anaheim, Tampa Bay, Seattle, San Diego, and Miami. And he has been a very consistent, reliable, and solid reliever throughout his career.

In 765 2/3 career innings pitched Rodney owns a 3.69 ERA, 3.77 FIP, and a 3.90 xFIP. He has struck out 759 batters, he is averaging just 0.68 HR/9, and his career WHIP is 1.36. His career ground ball rate checks in at 50.8 percent.

During the 2016 season he proved to still have plenty of gas in the tank. In 65 1/3 innings pitched he owned a 3.44 ERA, 3.80 FIP, 3.75 xFIP, and a 0.4 WAR. He averaged 10.19 K/9, 5.10 BB/9, and 0.69 HR/9. Rodney generated a 55.2 percent ground ball rate and owned a 1.39 WHIP in 2016.

Obviously Rodney’s biggest issue is his control. However, Ray Searage has always been very good at fixing this with pitchers. Additionally, Rodney did not allow much hard contact in 2016.

Opposing hitters had just a 24.6 percent hard contact rate off of Fernando Rodney in 2016. Furthermore, Rodney allowed line drives just 22.1 percent of the time. Both of these figures are below league average.

Most likely, Fernando Rodney will come cheap this offseason. There is also a good chance he could be signed for just one year. Both of these things should intrigue the Pirates.

In my opinion, Rodney, for the right price, would be a good fir in the Pirates’ 2017 bullpen. His biggest issue is problems with his control, but Uncle Ray has always been good at fixing that with pitchers. And Rodney could be the next one he fixes.

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