One could be forgiven for thinking that Fernando Rodney had retired. The well traveled former Oakland A’s reliever has not appeared in the majors since 2019, when the Nationals plucked him off of the scrap heap and added him to their bullpen. As Rodney had struggled with the A’s that season, leading to his release, watching him lift the World Series trophy was all the more frustrating.
However, Rodney never retired. Even when he was released by the Astros despite their ongoing pitching woes, he refused to hang up his cleats. However, the soon to be 44 year old did not attract any interest this offseason, remaining in free agency.
Fernando Rodney heading to Mexico
That lack of interest is not stopping Rodney from attempting to continue his baseball career. Just as another former A’s pitcher, Bartolo Colon, had done, he is heading off to Mexico, signing a contract with the Toros de Tijuana.
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Rodney had been solid for the A’s down the stretch in 2018, helping to solidify the bullpen for their own postseason push that year. While the A’s were hoping for similar results in 2019, Rodney struggled, posting a 9.42 ERA and a 2.233 WHiP over his 14.1 innings in Oakland, striking out 14 batters, but issuing 12 walks.
He found his way again with Washington, posting a 4.05 ERA and a 1.350 WHiP in 33.1 innings, striking out 35 batters with 16 walks. That resurgence was unable to lead to anything more than a minor league deal with the Astros and his assignment to the alternate camp for 2020 as Houston’s pitching staff was decimated with injuries.
Rodney has been counted out before. There have been several times in his career when he appeared to be done, only for Rodney to bounce back and become a solid reliever once again. This time, he has Father Time to contend with, but should he perform well in Mexico, it may not be a surprise to see the former All Star come stateside once again.
Former Oakland A’s pitcher Fernando Rodney is not ready to call it a career just yet. The next chapter of his journey will take place in Mexico.