The New York Mets are interested in free agent closer Fernando Rodney, according to Bob Nightengale of USA TODAY Sports. The Mets are one of three teams interested, along with the Seattle Mariners and Baltimore Orioles.
Mets general manager Sandy Alderson has recently turned his attention to his team’s bullpen. On Monday, the Mets signed veteran reliever Kyle Farnsworth to a minor league deal with an invite to Spring Training, and now they appear to be interested in one of the biggest bullpen names on the market.
The Mets sorely needed to add depth in the bullpen, but that area went highly neglected for most of the offseason. They tried to sign Grant Balfour, but he decided to sign with the Tampa Bay Rays instead. This week has been about rectifying all that; the Farnsworth signing isn’t going to excite many fans, but Rodney may bring a different tone.
Although he is 36 years old, the past two years have been two of Rodney’s best, as he saved 85 games the past two years in Tampa Bay; Rodney’s ERA in that time was 1.95.
The Mets need to sign Rodney. They navigated through most of 2013 with Bobby Parnell handling the closing duties, and they feel he is going to take a step forward this year. However, Parnell is coming off an injury. The Mets need to work on a backup plan in case Parnell is not ready, or if he regresses instead of progresses.
The Mets should sign Rodney to a two-year deal. Age hasn’t been a factor with him yet, and that could change at any moment, but the Mets should take a chance and lock him down now. If Parnell takes a step forward, Rodney could be a serviceable setup man and a potential trade piece.
Rodney is big bullpen piece, and the fact that he is still available should put him right in the Mets’ price range.