Report: Fernando Rodney Signs Deal With Rays

According to an Associated Press report out of the Dominican Republic that was published on the ESPN Desportes website, free agent reliever Fernando Rodney has signed a one year deal with the Tampa Bay Rays. Details of the story on inside.

According to the story published on ESPN Deportes (Story is in Spanish) Fernando Rodney himself claims to have signed a one year deal with the Rays that will be announced sometime in January.

The amazing thing about the above linked article is that it was posted on December 29th but seemingly got missed by all the MLB rumor mills over the Holidays.

I first stumbled upon the story by following my Twitter timeline and noticing a tweet from Enrique Rojas of ESPN Desportes which said:

"@TPM10454_SERIE5 Fernando Rodney firmó con #Rays la semana pasada."

I ran the tweet through Google translate and sent out a tweet myself to Rojas who then sent me the link to the story. He later provided a translation from the story which said:

"Rodney said: " I signed 1 year around $2 million contract with #Rays. I´ll fight for closer role."

Rodney has not been a very good pitcher in recent years and in 2011 he was 3-5 with a 4.50 earned run average in 39 appearances.

For his career he has a 4.29 earned run average and 87 saves. He served as the Angels closer for parts of 2010 and 2011, but was never able to hold down the job and was replaced last year with Jordan Walden.

If the story turns out to be true, it is hard to imagine Rodney sub-planting incumbent Kyle Farnsworth as the team's closer.

However, Andrew Friedman has indicated in recent weeks that the team was interested in obtaining another piece for the bullpen and the franchise has a very good track record with reclamation project relievers.

At this time there has been no confirmation from the Rays about the signing.

I have translated the text from the article from Spanish to English, and you can read it below.

SANTO DOMINGO - Dominican reliever Fernando Rodney said Thursday it signed with the Tampa Bay Rays and seek the opportunity to become the team's closer.

"It's confirmed, will be published in January if God permits. I signed for one year with Tampa Bay to keep working hard and see if God gives me something better," said Rodney told The Associated Press before the third game of the semifinal series Dominican winter baseball.

Rodney, 34, was relieved through the Los Angeles Angels in the last two seasons as a closer after labor the Detroit Tigers in 2009, when he got 37 saves.

With the Rays, who last year had to Kyle Farnsworth as the Closer at different times during the campaign, the Dominican Republic hopes to regain its effectiveness.

"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 "

Rodney reported that his transfer was for a season and over two million dollars.

"The contract was for just over two million dollars. I'm happy because last year I had a good performance. What I want to show is that I am the Fernando Rodney, 2006," he added.

In the Dominican baseball, with the Lions of the Chosen, one of the two teams from the Dominican capital, Rodney is exercising the functions of Closer. In the regular season and rescued three games in the semifinal has a save.

"I feel physically and mentally well, thank God and hope that the team still like me and to keep giving 100 percent as expected," he said.

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