Rays sign Fernando Rodney to one-year contract

ST. PETERSBURG, FL—The Tampa Bay Rays have signed free agent right-handed pitcher Fernando Rodney to a one-year major league contract.  The contract includes a club option for 2013.

Rodney, 34, went 3-5 with a 4.50 ERA (32-IP, 16-ER) in 39 relief appearances for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim in 2011.  He held opponents to a .224 (26-for-116) batting average and recorded 26 strikeouts.  A strained upper back forced him to spend 35 games on the disabled list from June 9–July 21, and he pitched in just two of the Angels final 29 games to end the season.

“Fernando’s pure stuff is top-notch and can beat hitters both in and out of the strike zone,” said Rays Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman.  “We feel he will be able to maximize his ability with us to further strengthen our bullpen.”

The righthander has spent nine seasons in the major leagues with the Detroit Tigers (2002-09) and Angels (2010-11).  For his career, he has compiled a 4.29 ERA (430-IP, 205-ER) and 87 saves.  He converted 37 of 38 save opportunities in 2009 (97.4 percent), the highest save percentage among American League pitchers, and has recorded 67 saves over the last four seasons combined.