- Bats Right, Throws Right
- Height 5' 11", Weight 170-230 lb.
Fernando Rodney's cousin, Alfredo Figaro, was a teammate on the Detroit Tigers. Rodney saved 37 games for the Tigers in 2009, then signed a large free agent contract with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim the following season, but had two poor seasons on the West Coast, as he was slowed down by injuries. He saved only 17 games over the two seasons and was limited to 32 innings in 2011.
Rodney won the 2012 American League Comeback Player of the Year Award following a tremendous season as closer of the Tampa Bay Rays in 2012. He had signed with the team in spring, then became the closer as incumbent Kyle Farnsworth began the season on the disabled list. He set a record with an ERA of 0.60, the lowest ever by a reliever pitching at least 60 innings, bettering the 0.61 set by Dennis Eckersley in 1990. He did not allow a run after August 14th, a string of 19 straight scoreless appearances to finish the season. He gave up only 5 earned runs in 74 2/3 innings and saved 48 games. He continued his dominance in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, as he made 6 appearances in the 7 games played by the Dominican Republic national team. He did not give up a single run and recorded a save in every appearance, setting a tournament record, as the Dominicans won their first title. No pitcher had ever saved more than three games in a Classic before, with only Francisco Rodriguez and Chan-ho Park having even notched that many. Rodney thus not only became the single-tournament Classic leader in saves but the career leader. He made the tournament All-Star team, joining Kenta Maeda and Nelson Figueroa as the selected hurlers.
His string of scoreless appearances in the majors ended on April 3rd, in his first outing of the 2013 season, when he blew a 6-5 lead by giving up a 9th-inning run to the Baltimore Orioles. However, Matt Joyce hit a lead-off homer against Tommy Hunter in the bottom of the 9th, and Rodney was credited with the Rays' 7-6 win. He saved 37 games that season, but also had 8 blown saves and his ERA increased to 3.38. In the ALDS, he blew a save opportunity in Game 3 on October 7th, allowing the Boston Red Sox to score the tying run in the 9th, but he still emerged with the win when Jose Lobaton hit a walk-off homer off Koji Uehara in the bottom of the inning.
Pitching for the Leones del Escogido in the Dominican League on January 14, 2014, Rodney completed a 6-0 no-hitter over the Tigres del Licey by pitching a perfect 9th inning. Jon Leicester had started the game by pitching five innings, but left with the game still scoreless; Ramon Garcia got credit for the win as Escogido's bats woke up during his two-inning stint on the mound. Armando Rodriguez pitched the 8th before Rodney got to end things, striking out two of the three men he faced, including Lonnie Chisenhall for the final out. The win secured a spot for Escogido in the league's championship game. On February 13th, he finalized a two-year deal with the Seattle Mariners worth $14 million.
He had a very good 2014 season with the Mariners, as he led the American League with 48 saves and 64 games finished. In 69 appearances, he was 1-6, but with a solid 2.85 ERA and 76 strikeouts in 66 1/3 innings. The Mariners were counting on him again as their closer in 2015, but he struggled to a 5.68 ERA in 54 games, and had 6 blown saves to counterbalance his 16 saves. He lost the closer's job in early June when his ERA ballooned over 7.00, and while he pitched somewhat better the next two months, he never showed enough consistency to regain his old gig, even though no replacement was able to step forward. On August 27th, he was sent to the Chicago Cubs for future considerations, reuniting him with former Rays manager Joe Maddon. He did a lot better in 14 games with the Cubs, posting an ERA of 0.75 in 12 innings to along with a 2-0 record. He made one scoreless appearance against the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS, but in the NLCS against the New York Mets, he allowed a two-run homer to Daniel Murphy in his lone appearance in Game 4.
In spite of his advancing age and not entirely convincing performance in 2015, Fernando managed to land a one-year deal with the San Diego Padres in 2016, which came with an opportunity to become Craig Kimbrel's replacement as the team closer. That's exactly what he did in the first half, as he went 17 for 17 in save opportunities while putting up a minuscule 0.31 ERA in 28 games. On June 30th, the Padres cashed in on his re-established value, trading him to the Miami Marlins in return for prospect Chris Paddack. He fell back to earth in Miami, putting up a 5.89 ERA in 39 games, with a record of 2-3 and 8 saves. That gave him an overall record of 2-4, 3.44 and 25 saves in 67 games and 65 1/3 innings. He maintained a very good strikeout rate, with 74 Ks against 37 walks.He became a free agent again after the season, and on December 9th completed negotiations on a one-year deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks worth $2.75 million.
Rodney throws a fastball in the upper 90's that he complements with an outstanding change-up, coming out of the same motion, but a good 10-15 mph slower. He alternates between the two pitches seemingly at random, making extremely hard for the batter to guess which is coming. He is also known for shooting an imaginary arrow into the sky whenever he successfully completes a save.
- 2012 AL Comeback Player of the Year Award
- 3-time All-Star (2012, 2014 & 2016)
- AL Saves Leader (2014)
- 30 Saves Seasons: 4 (2009 & 2012-2014)
- 40 Saves Seasons: 2 (2012 & 2014)