The Oakland Athletics outrighted right-handed relief pitcher Fernando Rodriguez Triple-A Nashville after he cleared waivers, the team announced. The news was first reported by SBNation's Chris Cotillo. Rodriguez was designated for assignment on December 18 after the A's acquired left-handed reliever Eury De La Rosa in a cash transaction from the Arizona Diamondbacks. The 30-year-old was out of options, and will earn $635,000 in 2015 after reaching an arbitration settlement earlier this year.
In limited action in May after Ryan Cook went on the disabled list and Dan Straily was demoted to Triple-A plus a single September inning, Rodriguez conceded one earned run in nine innings pitched, striking out four and walking two in seven appearances. In Sacramento, Rodriguez had a 1.97 ERA in 45⅔ innings, striking out 53, walking 16, and conceding only two home runs.
Melissa Lockard of OaklandClubhouse.com believes the move is a boon for the A's bullpen depth:
Quite a luxury for the #Athletics to have Fernando Rodriguez as a non-roster player. I think he will make an impact with the A's in 2015.— Melissa Lockard (@oakclubhouse) December 23, 2014
The A's initially acquired Fernando Rodriguez with Jed Lowrie in the February 4, 2013 that sent Chris Carter, Brad Peacock, and Max Stassi to the Houston Astros. In addition to Rodriguez, the A's main right-handed relief pitching options include Ryan Cook, Dan Otero, R.J. Alvarez, Evan Scribner, Taylor Thompson, and potential starter Chris Bassitt.