“He’s what we needed,” said LaTroy Hawkins, a special assistant to baseball operations for the Twins and one of their former pitchers. “If he can do what he’s done the last few years, it’ll be a lot of fun.”
Hawkins was the majors’ oldest player when he retired in 2015, at 42. Bartolo Colon now holds that distinction, but Colon, 44, signed a minor league deal with Texas and is trying to make the Rangers’ staff. The Twins, who made a surprising appearance in the playoffs last year, are counting on Rodney.
After struggling last April, Rodney had a 2.38 earned run average the rest of the way for the Diamondbacks. The Twins, who also added the veteran relievers Addison Reed and Zach Duke, join Detroit, the Angels, Tampa Bay, Seattle, the Cubs, San Diego, Miami and Arizona on Rodney’s career itinerary.
“Sometimes you see the roster and you say, ‘Why am I here?’ ” Rodney said. “I say, ‘I don’t know, maybe I can control the game.’ ”
Last season, Rodney became just the fifth pitcher to earn 30 saves after age 40, joining the Hall of Famers Dennis Eckersley and Trevor Hoffman, as well as Mariano Rivera and Doug Jones. Rodney has 300 saves in…