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American League

Twins Sign Veteran Closer Fernando Rodney To One-Year Deal

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The Minnesota Twins have found their new closer- as well as oldest member of the team.

Long-time right-handed reliever Fernando Rodney officially signed with Minnesota on Friday to a one-year deal worth $4.5 million with a club option after agreeing to a deal on Thursday night prior to passing a physical, MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger reports.

Minnesota will be Rodney’s eight team in his soon-to-be 16th Major League season, and sixth since the start of 2015.

Rodney, who turns 41 in March, was 5-4 with a 4.23 ERA in 61 games for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2017, converting 39 saves in 45 chances.

The journeyman Rodney takes over for Matt Belisle as the Twins’ closer. Belisle converted nine of 11 save opportunities in the final two months of 2017 after Brandon Kintzler (who was 28 for 32 in saves) was dealt to the Washington Nationals prior to the trade deadline.

Trevor Hildenburger, an impressive 26-year-old rookie in 2017, was considered to be a candidate to take over as closer in 2018; but at the end of the day, the Twins considered Rodney to be the better option.

“I’m excited about the team because they have a lot of young guys,” said Rodney per MLB.com. “They’re (Minnesota) a good team. They’re in a good position to win this year. I’m coming here to win.”

In 828 career games (all in relief) since his Major League debut in 2002, Rodney is 44-63 with a 3.73 ERA, and 300 saves in 336 opportunities. Since 2008, he’s recorded 280 of those saves, as well as five seasons with at least 37 or more (two seasons with a career-high 48).

Rodney mentioned that the Twins pursued him aggressively, saying, “They (the front office) liked me, physically and mentally, what kind of person I am outside the ballpark. I’m a good teammate. I like closing games. I want to be part of the group. I think we have a good chance to win the division.”

The three-time All-Star (’12, ’14’, ’16) is fifth among active pitchers in appearances and saves. In order, he’s pitched for the Tigers, Angels, Rays, Mariners, Cubs, Padres, Marlins, and D’Backs.

Rodney’s signing comes two days after the Twins signed starting pitcher Michael Pineda, who’s likely to miss all of 2017, to a two-year deal.

American League

White Sox Acquire Ivan Nova

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The Chicago White Sox have acquired right handed starter Ivan Nova from the Pittsburgh Pirates, according to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Robert Murray.

According to Fancred’s Jon Heyman, the Pirates will receive a “young pitcher” and an unstated amount of international bonus pool availability in return for Nova.

Nova posted a 9-9 record with a 4.19 ERA last season for the Pirates.

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American League

Yankees “Open To Moving” Miguel Andujar

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The New York Yankees have a future superstar in Miguel Andujar, a fan favorite, yet they have been constantly linked to rumors of being open to dealing him, despite his huge rookie season.

This one, just doesn’t make much sense if the plan is to move Andujar to make room for the likes of Manny Machado.

According to The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal and Robert Murray, the Yankees are “open to moving” Andjuar via trade, but there is no clear trade path to reference at this time.

This development clearly shows the Yankees desire to sign Machado to a free agent deal.

The Yankees and Mets have also been linked in a potential deal that could see Noah Syndergaard end up in New York, with Andujar on his way out.

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American League

Rangers Sign Rafael Montero

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The Texas Rangers have agreed to terms on a minor-league deal with right handed pitcher Rafael Montero, according to the Dallas Morning News’ Evan Grant.

Montero is still working back from Tommy John surgery, and was once a top prospect in the New York Mets organization , but struggled transitioning to the major league level, putting together a woeful 5.38 ERA over 192 1/3 innings pitched.

 

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