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.