ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Reliever Fernando Rodney signed a $2 million, one-year contract with the Tampa Bay Rays on Wednesday.
The hard-throwing right-hander will earn $1.75 million next season. The deal also includes a $2.5 million club option or a $250,000 buyout for 2013.
“Fernando’s pure stuff is top-notch and can beat hitters both in and out of the strike zone,” Rays executive vice president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said. “We feel he will be able to maximize his ability with us to further strengthen our bullpen.”
Rodney was 3-5 with three saves and a 4.50 ERA in 32 appearances with the Los Angeles Angels last season. He could fill a setup role or compete with Kyle Farnsworth for the closer’s job.
Over parts of nine seasons with the Angels and Detroit Tigers, Rodney is 22-38 with 87 saves and a 4.29 ERA in 419 career appearances. The right-hander turns 35 in March.
Rodney joins a team that reconstructed nearly the entire bullpen last winter. He had a career-best 37 saves in 38 chances for the Tigers in 2009, but was less effective as a closer over the past two seasons with the Angels.
With Farnsworth earning a career-high 25 saves in 31 opportunities, the Rays made the playoffs for the third time in four seasons. The right-hander was hampered in September by tenderness in his pitching elbow, though, and the addition of Rodney will give manager Joe Maddon someone who can fill the closer role on days that Farnsworth is not available.
Rodney signed an $11 million, two-year contract with Los Angeles as a free agent after the 2009 season. He was 7-8 with 17 saves in 28 opportunities with the Angels.
After appearing in 72 games for the Angels in 2010, Rodney was limited to 39 appearances last season, when an upper back strain sidelined from June 9 to July 21. He was used sparingly the remainder of the year, appearing in only two of the Angels’ final 29 games.
Updated January 4, 2012