Athletics upgrade bullpen yet again with trade for Twins closer Fernando Rodney

Jack Baer
Yahoo Sports Contributor
The Athletics just can’t stop bolstering their bullpen, this time adding veteran closer Fernando Rodney. (AP Photo)

As the Oakland Athletics inch further and further up the AL West and Wild Card standings, they just keep adding more arms to the bullpen. That trend continued on Thursday.

The A’s added veteran reliever Fernando Rodney to their bullpen in a trade with the Minnesota Twins, sending back right-handed pitching prospect Dakota Chalmers. The move gives the 41-year-old Rodney a 10th team to call home in his 16-year career.

While the trade deadline passed at the end of July, the A’s were still able to add Rodney through the trade waiver system prevalent in August. At 68-47, the A’s are just five games behind the Houston Astros for first place in the AL West and are three games ahead of the Mariners for the second Wild Card spot.

The A’s have already bolstered a strong bullpen with trades for the Mets’ Jeurys Familia before the deadline, and the Nationals’ Shawn Kelley, who came to Oakland after being designated for assignment after a reported confrontation with Nats GM Mike Rizzo. That’s in addition to closer Blake Treinen, who has been one of the best relievers in baseball this season, breakout rookie Lou Trivino and a solid supporting cast.

Rodney holds a 3.09 ERA, 50 strikeouts and 25 saves in 43.2 innings this season with the Twins. While he is a right-handed pitcher joining a bullpen that was already heavily skewed toward right-handers, he’s also holding left-handed batters to a .208/.315/.312 split this season thanks to a well-regarded changeup. It should say something that a closer with numbers as strong as Rodney’s is likely to pitch in middle relief for the A’s.

Chalmers is currently on the disabled list with an undisclosed injury and has seen little action in the minors this season, but the 21-year-old recorded 47 strikeouts in just 29 innings last season on his way to a 4.34 ERA during his first season of full-season ball with Class A Beloit.

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