One veteran pitcher may be coming for Satchel Paige’s all-time record.
Former All-Star closer Fernando Rodney revealed this week in an interview with Sam Blum of The Athletic that he is eyeing a return to Major League Baseball. Rodney will turn 47 years old this March and has continued to pitch professionally in Mexico over the last several years.
“I’m trying to get to [pitching at] 50,” said Rodney. “That’s my guess right now. I still touch 95, 94, 93, 92 when I want. I think there can be three more years. I want to reach there, then see how I feel.”
The right-hander Rodney, who has 327 career saves, also said that he is hoping to surpass Francisco Cordero’s all-time MLB record for saves by a Dominican pitcher (329).
Rodney opens up on his baseball journey and what continues to keep him going in the interview with Blum.
One of the best-known closers of his generation, Rodney pitched in Major League Baseball for 17 seasons and 11 different teams. He was an All-Star in 2012 with the Tampa Bay Rays, in 2014 with the Seattle Mariners and in 2016 with the San Diego Padres. Rodney also led the AL in saves in 2014 and won a World Series title in 2019 with the Washington Nationals. But he has been out of MLB ever since then, most recently getting a minor league deal from the Houston Astros in 2020 but getting released before he could make a single appearance.
As such, it is definitely a long shot that Rodney will ever make it onto an MLB mound again. But he continues to work on his craft, pitching for three different teams in the Mexican League over the past three seasons and most recently suiting up for Gigantes del Cibao of the Dominican Winter League this winter. There is also some recent precedent for Rodney’s fellow peers continuing to pitch well into that age range.