The Nationals are going to take a flyer on another late-inning reliever with a track record of success but ugly numbers this season.
Fernando Rodney, the 42-year-old with 325 career saves but a 9.42 ERA in 17 big league games this season, will be promoted from Triple-A Fresno and added to the active roster before Tuesday’s series opener against the Marlins in Miami, a source familiar with the transaction confirmed.
Rodney owns a 3.79 ERA and a long track record as a quality late-inning reliever during a 17-year career with 10 different franchises, but he was a bust in Oakland to begin this season. After having a $5.25 million option picked up by the Athletics, he surrendered 20 hits while walking 12 batters in 14 1/3 innings.
That prompted the A’s to release Rodney on May 28. Four days later, the Nationals signed him to a minor league deal and sent him to Fresno, where he posted a 4.50 ERA in nine games, walking nine but striking out 11 in eight innings.
Sunday’s release of Trevor Rosenthal following a disastrous first half cleared a spot not only in the Nationals’ big league bullpen but also on their 40-man roster. They decided to use that spot on Rodney over fellow veteran relievers George Kontos and Jonny Venters (both also recently signed to minor league deals) or 28-year-old right-hander Dakota Bacus (who has a 1.14 ERA in 28 appearances for Fresno).
The Washington Post was first to report of Rodney’s promotion.