ESPN New York’s Adam Rubin says that the team may be aiming to pick up former Tampa Bay Rays‘ closer Fernando Rodney. Rubin says that the Mets had been in talk with Grant Balfour, as well, before the Australian signed with the Rays. With Bobby Parnell slated to return from season-ending back surgery to repair a herniated disk last season, and with replacement closer LaTroy Hawkins signing with the Colorado Rockies, the Metropolitans are looking to purchase some insurance for the back end of their bullpen. There isn’t a proven pitcher in the bullpen as it currently stands should Parnell struggle in his return.
The right-handed, sideways-hat-wearing reliever from the Domincan Republic is coming off of a year where he failed to duplicate what he accomplished in his first year with Tampa Bay. In 2012, Rodney posted a stunning 0.60 ERA on his way to logging 48 saves with 9.2 K/9IP. He also earned his first All-Star game nomination and finished fifth in the Cy Young voting. Last season, his K/IP went up to a an 11.1 rate, but walks killed him as he issued 36 base-on-balls compared to 15 the previous year. His ERA shot up to 3.38 and he recorded 37 saves.