16-year Major League veteran reliever signs with Long Island
(Central Islip, N.Y., April 30, 2018) – The Long Island Ducks today announced the signing of right-handed pitcher Francisco Rodriguez, best known in baseball by the moniker “K-Rod.” He will begin his first season with the Ducks and 20th of his professional career.
“Francisco has been one of professional baseball’s most prolific relief pitchers for nearly two decades,” said Ducks President/GM Michael Pfaff. “He is eager to begin this new chapter of his career, and we look forward to providing him with a chance to keep playing the game in pursuit of a return to the Major Leagues.”
Rodriguez has enjoyed a 16-year Major League career that includes stints with the Los Angeles Angels (2002-08), New York Mets (2009-11), Milwaukee Brewers (2011-13, 2014-15), Baltimore Orioles (2013) and Detroit Tigers (2016-17). He was selected to play in six Major League All-Star Games, representing the American League three times (2004, ‘07, ‘08) and the National League three times (2009, ‘14, ‘15). The Venezuela native earned a World Series championship with the Angels in 2002, finished in the Top 5 for Cy Young Award voting three times (2004, ‘06, ‘08) and ranked sixth in American League MVP voting for 2008.
The 36-year-old has appeared in 948 games during his MLB career. His 437 saves rank fourth all-time, trailing only Mariano Rivera (652), Trevor Hoffman (601) and Lee Smith (478). He has also compiled a 2.86 career earned run average and 1,142 strikeouts to just 389 walks over 976 innings of work. Rodriguez led the American League in saves on three separate occasions (2005, ‘06, ‘08), and his 62 saves in 2008 are the most ever recorded in a single-season in Major League Baseball history. He has also pitched in 26 postseason games in the big leagues, totaling a 5-4 record, a 2.95 ERA, three saves and 49 strikeouts in 36 and two-thirds innings.
The right-hander joins the Ducks after spending the 2017 season in the Tigers and Washington Nationals organizations. He pitched in 28 MLB games with Detroit, recording seven saves and striking out 23 batters in 25 and one-third innings. He then signed a minor league contract with an invite to spring training by the Philadelphia Phillies this past January. Rodriguez, a two-time World Baseball Classic participant with Venezuela (2006, ‘09), was originally signed as an undrafted free agent by the Angels in 1998.
The Long Island Ducks are members of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball and play their home games at Bethpage Ballpark. For further information, call (631) 940-DUCK or visit www.liducks.com.
About the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball (ALPB)
The Atlantic League has been a leader in professional baseball and a gateway to Major League Baseball since 1998. Over 38 million fans have attended Atlantic League games and more than 900 players and 50 managers and coaches have joined MLB organizations directly from the ALPB. The Atlantic League emphasizes winning baseball games, showcasing the talent of top-caliber players and offering affordable family entertainment.
For more information, please visit www.atlanticleague.com.