SEATTLE MARINERS

Mariners adding Rodney; money left for Cruz?

Feb 6, 2014, 3:57 PM | Updated: 5:02 pm

By Shannon Drayer

Jonah Keri of Grantland was first to report and others have since confirmed that the Mariners have reached agreement with reliever Fernando Rodney on a two-year, $14 million contract. The team has yet to confirm and I am hearing that we most likely will not have that confirmation until early next week.

FR940x
With 85 saves and a 1.91 ERA with the Rays over the past two seasons, reliever Fernando Rodney strengthens a Mariners bullpen that sorely lacked depth last season. (AP)

Rodney, who turns 37 in March, spent the past two seasons with Tampa Bay, where he saved 85 games and posted a 1.91 ERA.

If true – and it appears to be a passed physical away from being official – this move most likely bumps Danny Farquhar from the closer role. There may be talk of competition in spring training but you generally don’t bring in a pitcher with a $7 million price tag to be the setup guy. Regardless of how this plays out, the Mariners now have a bit of much needed depth in the bullpen, something they didn’t have last year.

Instead of having Tom Wilhelmsen as the backup plan to Farquhar – who coming off his first closing experience is a bit (the tiniest bit at that) of a question mark in my book – you now have Farquhar as the backup to an established closer in Rodney. If Farquhar is what we saw in the second half of last year, the Mariners now have a nice right-left combo with Charlie Furbush joining him in a setup role. If Wilhelmsen bounces back then the Mariners are set at the back end of the bullpen with multiple options at closer if needed. At a minimum with the Rodney move, they have added to a position of need.

There is a bit of intrigue in this move as by my calculations it pushes them well over what they were budgeted to spend last year and closer to the $100 million mark for the payroll. Multiple sources have told me that over the past few weeks the Mariners have been lobbying ownership for additional dollars, and if a report from Bob Nightengale of USA Today is accurate, it appears they may have received them.

“The Mariners say they are all in and yes, are cautiously optimistic they will also sign slugger Nelson Cruz,” Nightengale tweeted Thursday.

Another move may be coming and perhaps in part thanks to Robinson Cano, who I have heard has been trying to recruit Cruz. He may have had a hand in getting Rodney to Seattle as all three were teammates together on the WBC team from the Dominican Republic.

Seattle Mariners

Seattle Mariners Luis Urías...

Shannon Drayer

Mariners Notebook: Updates on Urías, No. 1 starter spot

Seattle Mariners insider Shannon Drayer has an update on the shoulder of 3B Luis Urías and the case for an opening day starter competition.

4 hours ago

Seattle Mariners Mitch Haniger...

Shannon Drayer

Mariners arrive as ‘hungriest team’ Servais has ever had in spring

Shannon Drayer details the mood from the Seattle Mariners clubhouse at spring training, including insight from Scott Servais and Mitch Haniger.

5 hours ago

AL West Oakland A's...

David Brandt

AL West Look-in: Playing for A’s in ’24 could be downright weird

Playing for the Athletics over the past few decades rarely has been glamorous — at least by MLB standards. In 2024, it could also be downright weird.

6 hours ago

Seattle Mariners George Kirby...

Shannon Drayer

Mariners Notebook: What’s next for George Kirby?

As the full Seattle Mariners squad reports in Arizona, Seattle Sports insider Shannon Drayer details what Year 3 looks like for George Kirby and more.

1 day ago

Mike Trout Angels Seattle Mariners...

Steve Megargee

AL West Look-in: Mike Trout says he wants to stay with Angels

Mike Trout discussed his future and Anthony Rendon talked about his priorities as the two Los Angeles Angels veterans made some interesting comments Monday.

1 day ago

Seattle Mariners Levi Stoudt...

Brent Stecker

Why Mariners’ latest addition is worth keeping an eye on

Pitcher Levi Stoudt, who the Seattle Mariners dealt to the Reds in the Luis Castillo trade, is back with the team after a waiver claim.

1 day ago

Mariners adding Rodney; money left for Cruz?