Fernando Rodney has made no secret about his frustration with losing the closer job and becoming a forgotten man in the Angels’ bullpen, and Mike DiGiovanni of the Los Angeles Times reports that he asked the team for a trade a few weeks ago.
His wish was not granted and over the weekend Rodney vented more frustration, saying:
I’m mad. I’m really mad. I told them if they’re not going to use me, trade me. They say no, we need you for this year. They think I can’t pitch anymore. I think I can, but there’s nothing you can do. Why they lost confidence in me, I don’t know. It started when I blew that first game in Kansas City.
DiGiovanni notes that Rodney has appeared in just two games this month, but in fairness to the Angels “we need you for this year” may have simply been another way of saying “no other teams would give us anything for you this late in the season.”
Rodney lost the closer job early in the season, spent six weeks on the disabled list with a back injury, and returned to walk eight batters in nine innings from late July through the end of August. And then he coughed up four runs on September 2. All of which explains why he’s been used just once since then.
Overall this season Rodney has a decent-looking 4.50 ERA, but that comes with more walks (28) than strikeouts (26) in 32 innings. Mike Scioscia cited his lack of command and consistency as the reasons for Rodney’s lack of work, although more work would presumably improve his command and consistency.
Rodney is finishing up a two-year, $11 million contract and there’s clearly zero chance of the 34-year-old right-hander re-signing with the Angels. So far for that money he’s given them 100 innings of a 4.32 ERA and 79/63 K/BB ratio. He’ll be lucky to get a one-year deal for a couple million bucks as a free agent.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Cubs have signed pitcher Brett Anderson to a contract, pending a physical. Anderson, apparently, impressed the Cubs during a bullpen session held in Arizona recently. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the deal is for $3.5 million, but incentives can bring the total value up to $10 million.
Anderson, 28, has only made a total of 53 starts and 12 relief appearances over the past five seasons due to a litany of injuries. This past season, he made just three starts and one relief appearance, yielding 15 runs on 25 hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. The lefty dealt with back, wrist, and blister issues throughout the year.
When he’s healthy, Anderson is a solid arm to have at the back of a starting rotation or in the bullpen. The defending world champion Cubs aren’t risking much in bringing him on board.
Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.
What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.
The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.
Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.