JULY 31: The club has announced the signing. Rodney will go to the team’s alternative training site.
JULY 28: The Astros are nearing a deal with veteran right-hander Fernando Rodney, Adam Spolane of SportsRadio 610 in Houston reports. The Octagon client is currently playing for the independent Sugar Land Skeeters, and the Astros have been negotiating a buyout of that arrangement. The deal is till pending a physical for Rodney, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart tweets.
Rodney, now 43 years of age, would join his 12th MLB club if he ultimately gets into a big league game with the Astros. The longtime late-inning reliever split the 2019 season between the A’s and Nationals, struggling with the former but serving as a steadying presence in what had been a tumultuous bullpen with the latter. Rodney has a reputation for making any given appearance a rather adventurous outing, but his overall body of work with the World Champion Nationals was solid. In 33 1/3 frames, he logged a 4.05 ERA with 9.5 K/9, 4.3 BB/9, 0.81 HR/9 and a 48.3 percent ground-ball rate. Rodney’s heater still averaged 94.2 mph with the Nats last year.
The Astros’ bullpen has some notable names at the back of the mix, including Roberto Osuna and Ryan Pressly, but the pitching staff on the whole lacks experience. That’s particularly true with Justin Verlander currently shelved. Other Astros arms on the sidelines include Brad Peacock (shoulder), Austin Pruitt (elbow), Rogelio Armenteros (elbow) and Jose Urquidy (no reason provided). Rodney would add some depth and experience to a pitching staff that right now is carrying an eye-opening seven rookies.