Despite already having Jim Johnson, Kam Mickolio, and Koji Uehara on the roster and not expecting to contend next season, the O’s are on the look-out for a closer. Given the really dumb contract the Houston Astros just gave to Brandon Lyon (4.23 career FIP) – 3 years and $15 M – other mediocre relievers might be looking to cash in. One of these – and the guy who’s apparently at the top of the O’s list – is Lyon’s Detroit teammate from last season, Fernando Rodney. Rodney is not good. He’s not a terrible pitcher, but his FIPs the last few years are (2009 first) 4.56, 4.12, 3.81, 4.18. His expected FIPs are a touch higher than that, but basically you’re getting a guy who throws hard (95.9 mph fastball last year) and will give you strike-outs (8.6 K/9 career) and walks (4.6 BB/9) while keeping the ball on the ground more than the average pitcher (47.4 GB%).
That’s certainly good for a generic reliever that you pick up off the scrap heap, but Rodney is a Closer now. That means he wants to be paid for his saves, and not the 0.2-0.5 Wins Above Replacement he’d provide the team. Instead of one year and $1-3 M, the asking price is likely to be around Lyon’s 3/$15 M. Such a deal would be completely in contrast to what the O’s should be doing now, and a likely repeat of the recent past (Danys Baez, anyone?). Given that I can at least partially get behind almost every move that Andy MacPhail makes (or, at least, has made thus far), it would be very curious for him to do something so very, very stupid. Just say no.