In my opinion there are five divisions for closers.
There is the Dennis Eckersley division which is your very top-tier closers like Mariano Rivera and Joe Nathan.
There is the Tom Henke division which are just under the top-tier closers, but are very solid like Francisco Cordero.
There is the Jeff Montgomery division which are your no frills and no thrills closers, but usually get the job done like Huston Street.
There is the Armando Benitez division for closers who will put you through the ringer and are much suited to be eighth inning guys like Carlos Marmol.
Lastly, there is the Al Reyes division which are for closers who are thrust into the closer job because the team they are playing for has no other options. They become the closer by default like Fernando Rodney.
Lets stick with Rodney here for a second shall we?
I have never been a fan of Rodney. I don’t know the guy personally, but it really comes down to the fact that I have never thought he was good pitcher.
Last year, Rodney moved into the Al Reyes division of closers because the Detroit Tigers really had no other options going into the season. Their best option other than Rodney was Brandon Lyon and as we all know, he can’t close.
Rodney was able to rack up 37 saves, but posted his usually mediocre ERA in the mid-four’s (4.40 to be exact). Over the last three years, Rodney’s ERA is 4.48, which is nothing special.
However, the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim thought Rodney was special today. The Angels signed Rodney today to a two-year, $11 million contract.
You know in football when they say if you have two quarterbacks going into training camp, you really have none? Well, the Angels have two closers now going into spring training, but really have none.
The Angels now have Rodney and Brian Fuentes at the back-end of their bullpen and neither of them should be closing games on a World Series contending team. Rodney doesn’t solve the Angels’ bullpen problems–he adds to it.
Just because a guy racks up a lot of saves, doesn’t make him a good pitcher. If the Angels wanted to bring in a mediocre right-handed reliever, they would have been better off signing D.J Carrasco or Seth McClung.
Either of those pitchers would have cost the Angels less money.
And is one more thing I learned about Rodney today. He is 32-years-old! I had no idea he was that old. His age makes this signing even worse for the Angels.
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