Former Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim closer Francisco Rodriguez is looking to make an MLB comeback.
As we get closer to the 2020 MLB season finally getting underway, former Angels have been coming out of the woodwork to proclaim that they are looking to make Major League comebacks. First, it was Matt Harvey last week. Then it was Bartolo Colon earlier Monday afternoon. Now former Halos’ closer Francisco Rodriguez is adding his name to the growing free agent pool.
According to Guillermo Arcay, a Venezuelan journalist on Instagram (and relayed by Evan Woodberry of mLive.com), the man formerly known as K-Rod is looking at one more shot at Major League Baseball is looking to add another year on to his 16-year MLB career.
“As long as I have that conviction, as long as I have that flame, I’m going to keep trying. And I know that I’m going to do it.”
The question isn’t so much conviction, but rather how much Rodriguez has in the tank. When last we saw K-Rod, he was throwing in Detroit for a second season. After going a respectful 3-4 with 44 saves, a 3.24 ERA, and an 8.0 K/9 ratio in 2016, he fell flat in 2017 and found himself released after putting up a 7.82 ERA, a 7.38 FIP, and nine home runs allowed in just 25.1 innings of work. Although he’s found opportunities to return with Washington and Philadelphia since he’s yet to work his way back to the big leagues.
All of that is a shame considering the career that Rodriguez has authored over his 16 MLB seasons. Among qualified relievers, K-Rod ranks 4th all-time in career saves (437) and 20th in career fWAR (16.3). Coupled with a 2.86 ERA, a 3.31 FIP, and a 10.5 K/9, Rodriguez has crafted quite the career on the bump. Oh, and it doesn’t hurt that he has the single-season saves record as well, set at 62 in 2008.
Rodriguez spent his first seven years with the Angels, first as an understudy to Troy Percival and then as the team’s closer. In 408 appearances for Anaheim (297 games finished), Rodriguez went 23-17 with 208 saves, a 2.35 ERA, 2.84 FIP, and an 11.7 K/9.
Those days are seemingly far away for the now 38-year-old K-Rod. However, if he can show he can throw, some team with an increased roster may want to take a chance and slot him into a bullpen.