Soon after Brandon Lyon left Detroit for a three-year, $15 million contract with the Houston Astros, Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said that trying to re-sign their other free agent reliever, Fernando Rodney, was "a long shot."
That was one of the only mentions of Rodney seen during the Winter Meetings, as the buzz around a closer who notched 37 saves this season seemed to be non-existent. (The only blip of interest was from the Baltimore Orioles, who have him at the top of their shopping list.) And now, we may know why teams were shying away from him.
From the Boston Globe's Nick Cafardo:
The Astros were discussing Fernando Rodney, but the asking price was almost $30 million for three years. The market for Rodney at that price might not be significant. If he had accepted arbitration from the Tigers, he might have been up in the $9 million-$9.5 million range for a year. He may wind up regretting that decision. The Tigers would still love to have him back.
And you thought Lyon's contract was too much. Almost $10 million a year for Fernando Rodney? Is any team willing to pay that? (Consider that Francisco Rodriguez, last year's top free agent closer, will get $11.5 million the next two seasons. Kerry Wood will get $10.5 mil.) As we mentioned, the Orioles are interested. So are the Phillies, but it's difficult to imagine they'd want to shell out that much for a potential set-up man (or closer insurance against Brad Lidge).
We know the Tigers aren't going to give Rodney a multi-year contract, let alone one worth $30 million. So if he wasn't already ruled out as a possibility, this should do it. Of course, Rodney will probably have to come down from those contract demands. Just a bit.