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Diamondbacks linked to free agent reliever Fernando Rodney, close to a deal

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The Diamondbacks could be looking at the 39-year-old reliever who pitched for the Padres and Marlins in 2016. Jon Heyman reports the team is close to a deal.

One of the main priorities for GM Mike Hazen this winter was getting bullpen help. The first name linked to the team with legitimate interest is RHP Fernando Rodney. Rodney was an elite closer for a couple seasons in Tampa Bay, but struggled in Seattle in 2015 before rebounding in Chicago and San Diego in the first half of 2016. Rodney struggled a bit in Miami as they collapsed down the stretch. Overall, Rodney posted 0.8 fWAR and 1.0 bWAR.

So how does Rodney fit for the Dbacks. Rodney misses bats and when they do make contact, it’s on the ground. His swinging strike rate rebounded to 12.7%, which would have been the best mark for Diamondbacks relievers in 2016. His ground ball rate is a very good 55.2%. Rodney is mainly a sinker-change guy with a mid 90s sinker and a change-up that’s about 13 MPH slower. His velocity has declined a little bit, with his fastball being 1.5 MPH slower than his 2013 peak in Tampa Bay.

Approaching his Age 40 season, the contract is probably at most 2-years long and if the Diamondbacks struggle in 2017 could be a moveable piece at the deadline. In terms of overall fit, I actually don’t mind. Now we just wait to see if there will be a contract and how much. The FA market this offseason is borderline insane.