After the Mets' attempts to sign Grant Balfour failed, they've moved onto a different free-agent reliever. Adam Rubin reports that the Mets are in discussions with Fernando Rodney. This comes after a report yesterday which indicated that the Mets were "not likely" to sign Rodney.
According to Rubin, the Mets are telling Rodney's representatives that he would be the closer if signed. The Mets are not the only team in on Rodney, though, as the Orioles and at least two other teams are also pursuing him. While it's unclear how much the Mets are willing to pay Rodney, Mike Puma says signing him is more feasible than Balfour was.
Rodney's overall line was solid in 2013, posting a 3.38 ERA, 2.84 FIP, and 3.11 xFIP. He struck out 82 batters (28.2%) in 66 innings, but he struggled mightily with his control, walking 36 (12.4%).
Rodney also struggled against left-handed batters, as they posted a .322 wOBA against him. Lefties had a line-drive rate of 32.2% against Rodney, compared to the right-handed batter's rate of 16.9%. They also had a groundball rate of 42.5% against, which spiked to 59% when Rodney faced righties. Furthermore, Rodney's control dipped significantly against southpaws, as he walked 24 (15.2%) in 34 innings, while walking only 12 right-handed batters (9.1%) in 32.2 innings.
For his career, Rodney has a 3.70 ERA, 3.75 FIP, and 3.95 xFIP in 571.1 innings. It's not known what the Mets fallback option would be if they failed to land Rodney.