According to a story by Rojas on ESPNDePortesLosAngeles.com Rodney will receive a base salary of $1,750,000 in 2012 with a $2,5000,000 option in 2013 that includes a team buyout of $250,000. The Ray are expected to make an official announcement on Wednesday afternoon.
Last season with the Los Angeles Angels, Rodney went 3-5 in 39 appearances with a 4.50 earned run average and three saves.
Rodney had some sustained success with the Detroit Tigers in 2005 and 2006 when he had earned run averages of 2.86 and 3.52 respectively, but struggled in his tenure with the Angels and lost his closer's role to Jordan Walden early in 2011.
The Dominican native was originally signed by the Tigers as an amateur free agent in 1997.
In his 9 year major league career Rodney has an earned run average of 4.29 with a record of 23-38 with 87 saves.
The right-hander has been pitching well in the Dominican Winter League this off-season for Leones del Escogido where in 8 appearances he has allowed just a lone run and five hits while striking out 6.
Rodney becomes the third reliever acquired this off-season by the Rays joining Josh Lueke who joined the team in a trade with the Seattle Mariners for catcher John Jaso and Burke Badenhop who the Rays got from the Miami Marlins for minor league catcher Jake Jeffries.
In a 12/29 Associated Press story out of the Dominican Republic Rodney was quoted as saying,"I think there is a position, told me that (Tampa Bay) no closer (as defined). We will fight the post to see who wins. I have faith in God that if you have to fight the post, I'm going to go "
After the success of incumbent Kyle Farnsworth in 2011 who had 25 saves and a 2.18 earned run average in 63 games, it appears unlikely that Rodney will take-over as the team's closer. However, Farnsworth suffered from elbow issues late last season and set-up man Joel Peralta appeared in 71 games, a total that was second highest in the American League. Therefore adding a reliever with experience pitching in the back-end of ball games seems like a prudent move by the Rays
The Rays have had success in reviving the careers of reclamation project relievers in recent years with Grant Balfour, Joaquin Benoit, Juan Cruz, and Kyle Farnsworth all flourishing upon joining the team.
John Gregg is Publisher and Senior Editor of Rays Digest. You can follow him on Twitter at @RaysDigest. He can also be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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