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.