Edwin Rodriguez

The Marlins are no better off without Edwin Rodriguez

6 Comments

Edwin Rodriguez’s surprising resignation Sunday brings an end to another pretty forgettable managerial tenure in Florida.  In 163 games after taking over for Fredi Gonzalez, he went 78-85, and he exits with the Marlins in last place in the NL East at 32-39 this year.

If Rodriguez hadn’t resigned, he may well have been fired soon.  It never appeared as though the Marlins had a lot of faith in him, even though they chose to stick with him after interviewing other candidates in the offseason.

Rodriguez, though, did a pretty good job with the Marlins on the field.  He was a clear upgrade from Gonzalez there, especially in the way that he ran his bullpen.  Gonzalez was all about putting guys in roles and leaving them there until being left with no other choice.  Rodriguez was much more proactive.  He rode his hot hands in the pen without wearing guys out.

The lineup was the same deal.  Gonzalez thought Jorge Cantu was an RBI guy, so he batted him cleanup and let him so often bring the offense to a screeching halt.  Rodriguez entered the season planning to use Mike Stanton as a cleanup man, but he showed flexibility when Gaby Sanchez turned in his strong spring.  He made lemonade out of lemons by giving Greg Dobbs a crack at the third-base job.

In the end, Rodriguez was undone by the hand he was dealt.  There was no anticipating Hanley Ramirez’s horrible season.  Plus, Josh Johnson’s injury had taken a toll this month.  A bigger problem that won’t get so much attention was that the Marlins had been without their sixth and seventh starters all year.  With Alex Sanabia and Sean West sidelined due to arm problems, they had no one to step in for Javier Vazquez and Chris Volstad, both of whom are sporting ERAs over 6.00.

So now Rodriguez is gone.  And spared from the stress of working for Jeff Loria.  It’s too bad that he probably won’t be so quick to have another opportunity fall into his lap like Gonzalez did with the Braves.  He was an upgrade in the manager’s seat for the Marlins.

Diamondbacks sign Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million deal

PITTSBURGH, PA - AUGUST 21:  Fernando Rodney #56 of the Miami Marlins pitches during the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates on August 21, 2016 at PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Joe Sargent/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***
Getty Images
Leave a comment

Confirming a report from Tuesday, the Diamondbacks officially signed right-hander Fernando Rodney to a one-year, $2.75 million contract on Friday. The 39-year-old stands to receive up to $4 million in incentives, per Jack MacGruder of FanRag Sports, with $250,000 kicking in when the veteran reaches 40, 50 and 60 appearances and $500,000 if he reaches 70.

Rodney came three games shy of the 70-appearance mark in 2016 during back-to-back stints with the Padres and Marlins. He put up a cumulative 3.44 ERA on the year, which effectively disguised the extreme split during his performances in San Diego and Miami. The Diamondbacks aren’t anywhere close to contending in 2017, but Rodney should stabilize the back end of their bullpen while providing Arizona GM Mike Hazen with a potential trade chip during next year’s deadline.

Hazen issued a statement following the signing:

With Fernando, we’re getting an established Major League closer and a veteran presence in the bullpen. It is helpful to have someone with his experience on the back end to slow the game down and get the final three outs.

Cardinals, Dexter Fowler agree to a five-year, $82 million deal

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 02:  Dexter Fowler #24 of the Chicago Cubs reacts during the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians in Game Seven of the 2016 World Series at Progressive Field on November 2, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Getty Images
10 Comments

The Cardinals have officially signed outfielder Dexter Fowler to a five-year, $82.5 million contract. Fowler will also get a full no-trade clause.

The Cardinals gave Fowler a bigger deal than many speculated he’d get, as some reports predicted he’d get something in the $52-72 million range. His skills, however — he’s a fantastic leadoff hitter who plays a premium defensive position — definitely earned him some major dough. Fowler hit .276/.393/.447 with 13 homers, 48 RBI and 13 steals over 125 games in 2016 for the World Series champion Cubs.

For the Cardinals, this will allow Matt Carpenter to move down to the middle of the batting order and will shift Randal Grichuk to left field. It also takes a prime piece from the Cardinals’ biggest rival. For their part, earlier this offseason the Cubs signed former Cardinal center fielder Jon Jay. So that’s fun.