When Fernando Rodney returns to the Twins following the All-Star break, he will do so as an American citizen.
The 41-year-old closer became a United States citizen Monday morning, and he wrote about the experience on Instagram.
Rodney posted four pictures from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services field office in Hialeah, Fla., writing: "After 19 years in this wonderful country, today I am blessed to say that I am an official US Citizen. Today I fly the American Flag but in my heart always hold my Dominican Flag."
Rodney departed the Twin Cities on Sunday afternoon, before the Twins' game with Tampa Bay was completed. It raised some eyebrows when the Twins brought him on in the fifth inning to pitch out of a jam, but manager Paul Molitor explained afterward that the move was made because Rodney had a plane to catch for a hearing that couldn't be rescheduled.
"To be honest with you, it wasn't about [strategy]," Molitor said. "He needs to be in Miami for an immigration hearing [Monday] morning."
Rodney signed with Detroit as a 20-year-old in 1997 and made his Tigers debut in May 2002. The Twins are his ninth major league team over a career in which he was named to three All-Star teams and earn 321 saves.
"I want to thank all those who have been with me throughout the process and especially thank the @twins organizations for allowing me to catch my flight," Rodney wrote. "Big thanks to the @tigers who made this dream possible 19 years ago."