The Oakland Athletics had one of the best bullpens in baseball last season — ranking third in the major leagues with a 3.37 ERA — and added to it down the stretch, bringing in Shawn Kelley, Jeurys Familia and Fernando Rodney, all former All-Star closers.
While Kelley and Familia are both unrestricted free agents, the A’s on Wednesday exercised a 2019 club option on the 41-year old Rodney, bringing him back for a $4.25 million salary.
Rodney was acquired from the Minnesota Twins on Aug. 9 in exchange for minor league right-handed pitcher Dakota Chalmers. Before arriving in Oakland, Rodney had saved a team-leading 25 games for the Twins.
When he joined the A’s bullpen — including All-Star closer Blake Treinen and rookie set-up man Lou Trivino — he went 1–1 with a 3.92 ERA in 22 relief appearances. He finished the season tied for eighth in the American League with 25 saves, and his 325 career saves rank 18th in Major League history.
Oakland is the 10th big league stop for Rodney in his 16-year Major League career, spanning 885.1 innings pitched. He holds a 3.70 career ERA, including a 48–66 record, 325 saves, 894 strikeouts, and 436 walks in 896 appearances.
Famous for his tilted cap — a tribute to his fisherman father, who moved his hat with the sun — Rodney earned All-Star nods in 2012 for the Tampa Bay Rays, when he saved 37 games; in 2014 for the Seattle Mariners, when he led the league with 48 saves; and in 2016 when he pitched for the San Diego Padres and Miami Marlins, saving 25 games.