Report: Former All-Star Wants Comeback At 47 Years Old

He was a three-time All-Star,  highlighted by two 48-save seasons, and compiled 327 saves in all, while pitching to the age of 42. But now, as he gets set to turn 47, former big league closer Fernando Rodney is trying to work his way back to the majors.

Sam Blum of The Athletic reports that five years after Rodney threw his last pitch in the majors, he still believes “there’s something in his tank” and he isn’t planning on hanging up his cleats just yet.

“I’m trying to get to 50,“ Rodney laughs. “I still touch 95, 94, 93, 92 (mph on his fastball) when I want. I think there can be three more years.”

The last of his 17 seasons in the majors back in 2019 saw him earn his first World Series with the Washington Nationals. The Nats were his 11th major league team. He earned his first All-Star berth in 2012 at the age of 35, closing the door with 48 saves for the Tampa Bay Rays and an insane 0.60 ERA to go along with an equally outlandish 0.78 WHIP.

His next All-Star berth came in 2014 with the Seattle Mariners when he again notched 48 saves to lead all of baseball. Finally, his last time at the Midseason Classic was at the ripe young age of 39 in 2016, a season split between the San Diego Padres and the Miami Marlins.

One of Rodney‘s main motivations is to earn three more saves and become the Dominican Republic's all-time saves leader, passing Francisco Cordero, who retired with 329.

Rodney has pitched the last three years in the Mexican League and this winter in the Dominican Winter League. He’s looking for another contract in Mexico to start this year with hopes that a major league team might give him another shot. 

“I feel like I can pitch in the big leagues because I throw strikes and get outs. My fastball and my changeup has been good.”

The only three players in the last century who played in the majors north of the age of 47 are pitcher Jamie Moyer, who was 49 years old in 2012, infielder Julio Franco, who was also 49 in 2007, and the legendary Phil Niekro, who pitched until age 48 in 1987. It remains to be seen if Rodney can come in just behind that illustrious group.

Photo: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports