The Nationals have signed free agent reliever Fernando Rodney to a minors deal, per a report from Craig Mish of FNTSY Sports Radio. He’ll report to Triple-A Fresno once the deal is officially confirmed by the club.
Last week, the 42-year-old right-hander was released by the Athletics following a less-than-ideal performance this spring. During his first eight outings with the A’s, he pitched to an inflated 9.42 ERA, 7.5 BB/9, and 8.8 SO/9 over 14 1/3 innings. In May alone, he issued six runs, four walks, and two strikeouts across just 2 1/3 innings.
Still, Rodney can’t be written off as a ‘lost cause’ just yet. He’s just one season removed from his last productive stint in the majors, during which he produced a cumulative 3.36 ERA and 0.5 fWAR for the Twins and A’s. Even taking his inconsistent performance into account, there’s no doubt the Nationals could use the bullpen depth; entering Sunday’s series finale against the Reds, their relief corps ranks sixth-worst in the league with a combined 6.85 ERA and -0.3 fWAR so far in 2019.
Ken Rosenthal and Josh Tolentino of The Athletic report that Rays starter Blake Snell has switched agencies, going from Apex Baseball to Boras Corporation. Snell is currently signed to a five-year, $50 million contract and will be under contract through 2023.
Snell found himself in hot water two weeks ago when he said on his Twitch stream that he wouldn’t risk his life to play baseball during a pandemic while receiving significantly reduced pay. Some described Snell as tone deaf for saying, “I gotta get my money. I’m not playing unless I get mine, okay?”
Boras represents many of baseball’s highest-paid players, including Gerrit Cole and Bryce Harper. Snell is not likely to win over any of the people he recently irritated by appearing to go after more money by hiring the highest-profile agent. What often goes unsaid is that players have a very limited window in which to use their elite athletic skills to make money.
Snell won the 2018 AL Cy Young Award, going 21-5 with a 1.89 ERA and a 221/64 K/BB ratio over 180 2/3 innings. He did not have nearly the same success last year, going 6-8 with a 4.29 ERA and a 147/40 K/BB ratio in 107 innings.