HERMOSILLO, Mexico -- Fernando Rodney, currently pitching for the Dominican Republic's Leones del Escogido at the Caribbean Series, continues to express confidence that he'll eventually garner an extension from the Rays.
"It's in plans already," Rodney said in Spanish on Friday, a few minutes before taking the field against Venezuela's Navegantes de Magallanes at Sonora Stadium. "We've talked a few times, and I expect it to get finalized this month."
The 35-year-old right-hander was at the center of much confusion earlier this week, when he told the Dominican publication El Dia that he was closing in on a two-year deal that would cover 2014-15.
"Everything is ready," Rodney was quoted as saying by the publication on Wednesday. But the Rays said those talks have not taken place, and Rodney's recently hired agent, Dan Lozano, told the Tampa Bay Times his client was misquoted by El Dia.
The veteran closer didn't go as far as saying there was an agreement in place with the Rays on Friday, but he expressed confidence that one would get done and in no way dismissed the existence of discussions.
"We're still in the planning stages, still negotiating," Rodney said. "You know, these negotiations take time because you have to weigh all your options."
Asked if he was confident a deal would get finalized, Rodney said: "Of course."
Rodney compiled a 4.42 ERA with the Tigers and Angels from 2007-11, but bounced back in a big way in 2012 with Tampa Bay. He notched a career-high 48 saves, posted a 0.60 ERA and struck out 76 batters in 74 2/3 innings, finishing fifth in American League Cy Young Award voting and earning the AL's Comeback Player of the Year Award.
Rodney will make $2.5 million in 2013, his final season before free agency.