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Fernando Rodney is a free agent

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Veteran reliever Fernando Rodney has been released, the Athletics announced on Tuesday. Rodney was in the last year of his contract after the A’s picked up his $4.25 million club option in October.

Rodney, 42, was torched for 15 runs on 20 hits and 12 walks with 14 strikeouts in 14 1/3 innings before being designated for assignment over the weekend.

While it would make sense that a struggling pitcher in his 40’s might not draw a lot of interest, the truth is most teams are in the market for bullpen help in one way or another. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Rodney latch on with another team on a minor league deal. The A’s are still on the hook for the remainder of his salary minus the prorated major league minimum if he catches on elsewhere.

Joe Kelly’s suspension reduced to 5 games on appeal

Joe Kelly suspended eight
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LOS ANGELES — Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Kelly had his suspension for throwing pitches near the heads of Houston hitters reduced to five games on appeal.

Kelly was originally penalized eight games by Major League Baseball on July 29, a day after throwing a 96 mph fastball near the head of Houston’s Alex Bregman and two curveballs that brushed back Carlos Correa.

The Dodgers on Wednesday confirmed the reduced penalty.

Kelly went on the 10-day injured list retroactive to last Sunday with right shoulder inflammation. He will serve his suspension when he returns.

After striking out Corea, Kelly curled his lip into a pouting expression and exchanged words with the shortstop.

Benches cleared after Kelly’s actions during the sixth inning of Los Angeles’ 5-2 win at Houston in the teams’ first meeting since it was revealed the Astros stole signs en route to a 2017 World Series title over the Dodgers.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts served his one-game suspension the same day the penalty was handed down. Astros manager Dusty Baker was fined an undisclosed amount.

Kelly denied that he purposely threw at the Astros. He has previously been suspended in his career for throwing at a batter.

The penalties were imposed by former pitcher Chris Young, MLB’s senior vice president of baseball operations, who issued his first ruling since taking over the job from Joe Torre.