Get ready for another year of the Fernando Rodney experience.
The A's exercised their $5.25 million option to bring back the flamboyant 41-year-old reliever for 2019, rather than buying him out for $250,000. Rodney will have the potential to earn up to $6.25 million if he reaches certain incentive bonuses, according to a source familiar with the contract.
Rodney, who will turn 42 in March, went 4-3 with a 3.36 ERA and 1.46 WHIP in 68 appearances last season between Minnesota and Oakland. In his 22 regular season outings with the A's, the right-hander was 1-1 with a 3.92 ERA and 1.60 WHIP. He struggled in the AL Wild Card Game, allowing two earned runs without recording an out.
It's an intriguing decision by the A's, a team typically strapped for cash. Rodney is entering his 17th Major League season with a career ERA of 3.70 and 325 saves, but $4.25 million is not cheap for a setup man.
Of course, there is always the possibility that Rodney could be traded. Teams are constantly looking for proven closers and if Rodney gets off to a good start next season, he could draw interest.
Rodney's return makes it highly unlikely that fellow relievers Jeurys Familia and Shawn Kelley will return. The A's still have All-Star closer Blake Treinen, talented youngsters Lou Trivino and J.B. Wendelken, and veterans Yusmeiro Petit and Ryan Buchter.
With all of those arms returning, plus Rodney, Oakland's bullpen should once again be a tremendous strength.