ESPN’s Jorge Arangure tweets that, while nothing is imminent, the Mets, Phillies and Orioles are “in on” Fernando Rodney.
Rodney likely wants to close as opposed to serving as someone’s setup man, which makes Baltimore and Philly better options than New York, where K-Rod has the gig. Of course, if he thinks of himself as a Closer with a capital “C” he likely wants more money than a team like Baltimore should be paying for any single bullpen arm. A winning team, like coffee, is for closers. A team that’s likely to lose around 90 games doesn’t really need one.
As for Philly: haven’t their fans had enough bullpen-induced heart attacks already? Sure, Rodney did well last year, but he continued to be all over the place control-wise. If a butterfly flaps his wings in South America, Rodney could go from the single blown save he had last year to numbers that are positively Lidgean.
Rodney has great gas, and he’s worth a spot in someone’s pen, but I wouldn’t anoint him my ninth inning man, nor would I pay him the dollars that usually goes with that title.
CSN Philly’s Jim Salisbury reports that Phillies outfielder Nick Williams has been working out daily with free agent starter Jake Arrieta in Austin. The right-hander, who won the 2015 National League Cy Young Award, still remains teamless with spring training less than a month away. Williams has been trying to sell Arrieta on joining the Phillies.
Williams said of Arrieta, “He loves it here [Austin]. He has told me he likes working with young guys. I’m like, ‘All right, come on up.’ But I’m not writing the check. I don’t know what he wants. I don’t really dig into that because I’m not really in his position.”
On GM Matt Klentak’s hunt for pitching help, new manager Gabe Kapler said, “The pursuit is very real. I have a lot of trust that we’ll either go in [to spring training] with a new toy or we will pass on the opportunity because we’re better off giving this collection of pitchers a really healthy look because we thought that we could go acquire that piece a little bit later on this season or in the offseason next year.”
Arrieta, who turns 32 years old in March, went 14-10 with a 3.53 ERA and a 163/55 K/BB ratio in 168 1/3 innings last season with the Cubs. The Cubs, Cardinals, and Brewers have been linked to Arrieta this month.
Presently, the Phillies’ starting rotation figures to include Aaron Nola, Jerad Eickhoff, and Vince Velasquez along with some combination of Nick Pivetta, Ben Lively, Zach Eflin, Mark Leiter, and Jake Thompson. Arrieta would certainly amount to a big upgrade in the starting rotation and could make the Phillies a more attractive landing spot for Bryce Harper or Manny Machado, who become free agents after the 2018 campaign. The Phillies are expected to be in the mix for either or both players.