Fernando Rodney, at 42 the oldest player in the majors, was designated for assignment by the A’s on Saturday.
Oakland exercised Rodney’s $4.25 million option in October after he made 68 appearances for the Twins and A’s, posting a 3.36 ERA. But he fell out of favor this year and lost his setup role.
Rodney’s ERA in 17 outings was 9.42. He was replaced on the roster by lefty reliever Wei-Chung Wang, who was promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas.
“I had a very good time,” Rodney said. “It’s a very good group of people here, good teammates. I think it’s best for me and the organization, too, because I haven’t had too many chances to pitch and help the team.”
Rodney is optimistic about the A’s, saying, “They’ve got a good team. I think they can keep pushing and go far.” As for whether he plans to continue pitching, he said, “I feel good, and I’ll see what happens.”
Manager Bob Melvin said Rodney is at his best the more he pitches, but the A’s couldn’t afford to use him in high-leverage situations.
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“Obviously, some performance comes into play,” Melvin said. “I will say he’s not used to pitching in a role like that and used to getting regular work, and we weren’t giving that to him for some obvious reasons.”
Rodney has pitched for 10 teams in 17 season and ranks 18th in history with 325 saves.
“It’s amazing,” Melvin said. “He’s still throwing upwards of 95 (mph). For a guy who likes to work a lot, it was a difficult spot for him, and it put us in a little bit of a difficult spot, too. … Hopefully, he gets to pitch a little bit more. I think there’s something left.”
Wang, 27, a native of Taitung City, Taiwan, was a non-roster invitee in spring training and posted at 3.75 ERA at Las Vegas. He pitched in 2014 and 2017 with the Brewers. Melvin hinted he could use Wang against lefties and righties and for multiple innings.
Wang gives the bullpen two lefties along with Ryan Buchter.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/athletics/article/A-s-cut-Fernando-Rodney-call-up-Wei-Chung-Wang-13896786.php.