Former reliever Francisco Rodriguez is eyeing a return to Major League Baseball.
Rodriguez mentioned in an interview that his goal is to return to the majors and he is completely sure that he can accomplish that.
The 38-year-old reliever has not pitched in the majors since the 2017 season. He posted a 7.82 ERA over 25.1 innings with the Detroit Tigers during his last season in the big leagues. Rodriguez signed a minor league deal with the Philadelphia Phillies in 2018, but was cut during spring training. After leaving the majors, Rodriguez pitched in the independent Atlantic League and in the Mexican League.
Can Rodriguez Get Back to the Majors?
The six-time All-Star has seen plenty of success during his MLB career. Rodriguez has spent 16 seasons in Major League Baseball, while playing for five different organizations. He currently holds the single season save record with 62 saves that was accomplished during the 2008 season with the Los Angeles Angels. His best seasons were spent with the Angels, but Rodriguez had plenty of success with the Milwaukee Brewers and New York Mets as well.
It’s nice to see that Rodriguez wants to return and finish out his career on his own terms. However, actually returning to the MLB is going to be an uphill battle. There aren’t many organizations that would likely be willing to take a chance on a 38-year-old pitcher. He has not competed in the league in two full seasons, which definitely does not help his chances.
His best chance to return would be on veteran minimum deal or a invite to spring training. Rodriguez has to prove to organizations that he is still able to pitch at a high level, especially after his horrendous 2017 campaign. He has plenty of experience and would be a great veteran presence in the locker room.
Rodriguez currently ranks fourth on the all-time saves leaderboard with 437. He only trails Mariano Rivera (652), Trevor Hoffman (601), and Lee Smith (478). It’ll likely be difficult for him to climb much higher on the list at this point in his career. Most organizations would put Rodriguez in low leverage situations, assuming he can make it back to the majors. Rodriguez is already well on his way to the Hall of Fame, but it would be nice to see him get one more chance in the big leagues.