Toronto Blue Jays Should Still Consider Fernando Rodney
By David Hill
With the acquisition of Drew Storen, one may think that the Toronto Blue Jays should be done tinkering with the bullpen. However, as teams have proven recently, one can never have too many solid bullpen arms.
There has been an arms race lately in major league baseball when it comes to the bullpen. With the Royals proving that success can be had with a dominant bullpen and solid defense, other teams have attempted to replicate that formula. Just look at the American League East, where both the Yankees and Red Sox have made moves to build their own three headed monster to close out games.
meanwhile, the Toronto Blue Jays have not been sitting around. They have solidified their own bullpen with the addition of Drew Storen, adding the former Nationals closer to a bullpen that already has Brett Cecil and Roberto Osuna. Maybe the Blue Jays do not have the same recognition in their bullpen that the Yankees and Red Sox do, but they may be just as good.
However, the difference between the Royals and other teams was the depth of their bullpen. While most teams had two or three solid relievers, Kansas City seemingly had an assembly line of quality pitchers, giving them an advantage that other teams simply could not contend with.
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Given the questions surrounding the Blue Jays rotation heading into the 2016 season, perhaps Toronto should take a page from their ALCS foes. With enough depth, those questions about the rotation may no longer be relevant. As such, the Blue Jays should continue looking to improve their relief corps, and that includes continuing to consider Fernando Rodney.
Rodney is certainly volatile, and might not be someone that inspires confidence in a high leverage situation. His time with the Mariners last season was a disaster, as Rodney posted a 5.68 ERA and a 1.500 WHiP, saving only 16 of his 22 chances. However, he was a much different pitcher with the Cubs, posting a 0.75 ERA and a 1.000 WHiP in his 14 outings.
Those struggles last season came on the heels of a solid three year run where Rodney posted a 2.21 ERA and a 1.136 WHiP, saving 133 games while striking out 234 batters in 207.2 innings. Even if Rodney is not that pitcher any longer, he has been a quality relief arm in the past, and would be a solid depth option to help the Blue Jays new three headed monster at the back of the bullpen.
At 39 years of age, and after coming off a down season in 2015, Rodney would likely be available on a one year deal at a reasonable cost. Should he struggle, the Blue Jays would be able to cut bait and walk away. However, if Rodney can rediscover that form from the previous three seasons, or from his time in Chicago, he could be the perfect fit in the middle of the Toronto bullpen.
The Toronto Blue Jays bullpen is stronger now than it was just a few days ago. Yet, one can never have enough depth in the bullpen, and Fernando Rodney is still worth consideration.