Free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez has agreed to a deal with the Long Island Ducks of the independent Atlantic League, per a report from Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports. Rodriguez spent spring training with the Phillies, but was released on March 24 and didn’t catch on with another major league club.
Rodriguez, 36, completed a two-year stint with the Tigers in 2017. He scratched out a career-worst -0.7 fWAR during his 16th and final season in the majors, rounding out his performance with a 7.82 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 in just 25 1/3 innings.
The veteran right-hander isn’t that far removed from his last productive season — he commanded a 3.24 ERA and 44 saves with the Tigers in 2016, and flashed a 2.21 ERA and 38 saves with the Brewers the year before that — but his age and dismal spring performance (five runs, eight walks and five strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings) gave the Phillies some concern about his ability to bounce back in 2018. Whether or not he’s able to turn around his career in the Atlantic League and earn another big league gig remains to be seen.