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Mariners reach two-year deal with Rodney

Post by Bob Dutton / The News Tribune on Feb. 6, 2014 at 2:51 pm with 12 Comments »
February 6, 2014 2:51 pm

The Mariners shored up the back end of their bullpen Thursday afternoon by reaching a two-year agreement with veteran closer Fernando Rodney for $14 million that includes performance bonuses capable of boosting the value by another $1 million.

The deal was first reported on twitter by Jonah Keri of There was no confirmation from club officials, but the News Tribune and other media outlets soon verified the report.

That suggests Rodney has agreed to a contract but has not yet completed a routine physical examination. The Mariners must make a corresponding move of their 40-man roster to accommodate Rodney when the deal becomes official.

Rodney, a right-hander who turns 37 next month, spent the last two seasons as the closer at Tampa Bay, where he converted 85 of 95 save opportunities while compiling a 1.91 ERA in 144 games.

The Mariners targeted a proven closer after blowing 23 saves and suffering 13 walk-off losses in 2013.

Rodney is an 11-year veteran who has spent much of his career as a set-up reliever in Detroit and with the Los Angeles Angels before becoming the Rays’ closer in 2012 after signing a free-agent deal that paid him $4.25 million.

Rodney is 29-44 with a 3.70 ERA in 563 career games.



Leave a comment Comments → 12
  1. Palerydr says:

    I like the move he’s a proven closer however I would have preferred Balfour as he is more familiar with the AL West. Overall I’m disappointed with the moves made so far this off season. The Cano signing would have meant more to me by adding some decent bullpen pieces to go with a an outfielder who was capable of at least an avg MLB performance hitting and catching the ball. The Bullpen is gonna flame out due to overuse long before the season ends. Right now I see too many players with the tagline “IF” attached to their future performance.

    Signing Cruz just doesn’t make sense The M’s depth chart reads
    LF Ackley
    CF Saunders
    RF Morrison
    I see Gutierrez as the 4th OF so Cruz would be #5?
    So you platoon Cruz in RF or is that where Hart comes in?
    Or do you platoon him in LF further retarding Ackley’s growth?

    I see the M’s once again fighting to achieve a .500 season at best.

  2. I like the move overall. Might have been a better investment to commit an extra 10 mil over 2 years and gone after Arroyo. Hope they still bring back Perez as well. Furbush is a good bullpen lefty, but I am far from sold on Luetge being a contributor.

    The hitter they should add depends on whether Hart can actually play in the OF anymore IMO. If he can then I would be for bringing back Morales on a one year deal. If not, then it might make sense to sign Cruz if he wants to sign a one year deal and hit free agency again in 2015. Guti is good for 80 games or so at best most likely. Saunders and Ackley are really still significant question marks. Ackley more so. Morrison is pretty bad in the OF. So is Cruz though.

    Best case would be that Hart and Morrison can both play in the OF part of the time and that Montero contributes as a DH. I think they should be a .500 team. Better if they get contributions from a number of young players like Walker, Ackley, Zunino, etc.. I always hold on to hope for the M’s this time of year though.

  3. wabubba67 says:

    Overpaying for the most overrated position on the roster….the Mariners way. That said, Rodney has been dependable. Though he is now old…doubt he’ll be effective at the end of this contract when he will be 39 or 40. Then we are will be stuck with a $7 million dollar salary and a guy that has no trade value.

    Closers should be developed within an organization…and then flipped at a trading deadline to a team desperate to compete when their salary outstrips their true worth.

  4. Palerydr says:

    I mostly agree with you Nate, I also wouldn’t have minded signing Arroyo but he is 37 and I see signed by the Dbacks yesterday. I did a little poking around to see whats up with Ervin Santana and I see he wants WAYYYY too much for a pitcher of his caliber. He is from the DR so maybe Cano can work some magic and get him to come to his senses to sign a reasonable deal. That would give us a nice 3rd starter as well as some depth. Paul Maholm also looks to be available he’s nothing special but he is a soft tossing lefty always nice to have 1 of those in the rotation to break things up.

    As for the Outfield I see Ackley starting and playing against both RH and LH pitchers. He’s solid defensively with a below avg arm. Playing in LF will reduce some of that disadvantage but teams will still run on him a lot.

    Saunders probably has the best arm and 2nd best range in CF with Guti having the better range.

    Morrison or Hart in RF looks like a possible disaster unless Harts knees are ok. Hart used to be an above avg defensive player with a plus arm we’ll see if the inj have robbed him of those abilities. I suspect his range at least will be reduced. Even if his knees are ok Hart still won’t play everyday in RF. Morrison is below avg in every defensive metric you can think of for an outfielder he’s gonna look awful.

    I see Guti playing more games than 80 but those app will be as a late inn defensive replacement with the occasional start against LH. Using him this way should give him a better chance at playing a full year though I’m not counting on it.

    So if we sign Cruz he would be in the mix for RF/LF/DH platoon. Cruz also is no golden glover but he’s better than Morrison with an above avg arm. Not really liking an outfield that looks like that. I always have hope but reality looks kinda grim.

  5. Palerydr says:

    I suppose you can say they overpaid but really they didn’t. He is signed to a 2 year deal and in the overall scheme of baseball salaries that really isn’t much Bubba. So say he gets 30 saves this year and Farqhuar gets some more experience. I see in year 2 of Rodney’s contract they flip roles or maybe Pryor steps up in between. Once again all you want to point out is the negatives instead of looking for positives. Why in the world would you develop a top closer then trade him especially if you have no one to replace him? That’s just not a smart move to me. You are just generalizing. Who is gonna give you value in return if this closer is, as you say, ineffective and overpaid?

  6. wabubba67 says:

    Say he gets 30 saves. How many saves would another in house, young reliever get in comparison while building experience? 20 some odd? 7 million is a lot to pay for 10-15 saves when those resources could have been used elsewhere on a team that should be rebuilding (finding young players about to hit their prime rather than aging ones exiting their prime….Cano, Bloomquist, Rodney.)

    These moves speak to the desperation of Z to maintain his position beyond 2014…much like Bavasi’s last gasps as he traded for Bedard and used Morrow at the MLB level out of the pen.

    You would want to constantly develop power arms within the organization to become closers…if out of contention, you can then fleece another team at the trading deadline. There is a LONG history of teams overpaying for closers in late July.

    I’m sure that Rodney will be a terrific (sarcasm) $7 million closer at the age of 40 for a team that is going nowhere next season…at that point he will be impossible to trade…which is my point. But, hey, that will be the next GM’s problem to solve.

  7. Rodney will be 38 when his contract is up. The team was terrible in one-rum games last year and had a ton of blown saves (most in baseball I believe). This allows Farquhar and Pryor to handle the 7th/8th inning, and maybe Wilhelmsen can be effective again without the stress of the 9th inning.

  8. wabubba67 says:

    My fault. Lists his birthday as March 15, 1977…making him 37 when the season opens 38 at the conclusion of his deal. (If you can believe birthdates from the Dominican Republic.)

  9. Palerydr says:

    A long list of fleecing? try again here’s what I found in trades involving closers, overpaid or ineffective, at the trade deadline add to it if you can.

    Our very own Mariners trading Derek Lowe and Jason Varitek for Heathcliff Slocomb.

    I agree developing arms within the organization is the way to go. You maintain player control as well as having valuable trade chips.

    I’m quite sure you are wrong about Rodney I expect him to be a serviceable closer, someone we need in the short term. I would have preferred other pitchers that have already been signed like Brian Wilson(closer) 1 yr 10 mil, Grant Balfour(closer) 2 yr 12 mil, Edward Mujica(setup) 2 yr 9.5 mil, Eric O’Flaherty(LH setup) 2 yr 7 mil and Joe Smith(setup) 3 yr 15.5 mil

    Looking over the available closers at the time the M’s signed Rodney, he seems the least offensive choice. Who exactly would you have brought in and for what price? If you tell me you think Farquar and Pryer I’ll tell you they are both unproven and need more experience either setting up, or the occasional spot close when Rodney can’t go. Blowing saves kills a team just look at the M’s from last year. I don’t see Rodney blocking their path but more of a bandaid to get us through this year and next.

    It’s quite certain Jack Z is fighting for his job however I don’t see any payroll decision that smacks of desperation. The Cano move being more of a statement the M’s will spend some money. Statements in the form of spending money is what will attract decent FA. I don’t consider the money wasted at all. You do understand that to just run a bunch of unproven players out there just so they may or may not develop then trade them for more unproven players isn’t gonna get you to the div title let alone over .500. Like it or not you also have to try and put a team out there that can compete at the MLB level. That means you have to have a proven closer, something we didn’t have prior to signing Rodney.

    Lastly your argument over money is hooey. Every team in MLB overspends, every roster has a guy who doesn’t deserve the money he’s getting. As far as that type of mentality goes, trying to justify ANY player getting 7 mil a year to play baseball is all hooey. Would I have preferred they sign Rodney for 7 mil total over 2 years, of course however that’s not the way it’s done in MLB today. His talent level, or whatever metric you want to use to determine a players worth, dictates the type of contract he signs get over it. All these guys play for the “love of the game” but none of them do it for free.

  10. Quinault says:

    So if this year – because of this signing – we win games we blown last year and with the additions of +WAR players we win more games than last year [in theory], then this team adds +10 games right off the bat. Add in the games lost by the whole Wedge mismanagement and we are looking at 85 wins.

    Homeruns last year did not win us the games we were hoping for, so lack of them this year should not impact us as much. I think we are set for Spring Training. Maybe that is more about budgeting rather than roster management, but we will have a bunch of invitees to assess.

  11. I don’t think Wedge mismanaged very many games. Can’t run when you don’t have team speed. Can’t bunt a guy into scoring position when you are worst in the league with RISP. Can’t start anybody in the 4-5 spots besides Saunders and Harang when that’s all you’ve got.

  12. wabubba67 says:

    “WAR! What is it good for? Absolutely nothing!”–Bruce Springsteen

    Not going to argue about teams overpaying for relief pitchers, particularly closers, each season. It’s obvious…and Billy Beane, alone, has done quite well trading relievers at the deadline. As for the Mariners, you can also add Paul Spoljaric and Mike Timlin to your argument.

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