Relief pitcher Fernando Rodney and the Seattle Mariners have agreed to a two-year, $14 million deal, according to Jonah Keri of ESPN's Baseball Tonight. The deal includes incentives that can make the contract worth as much as $15 million, Keri notes. Rodney was one of the best closers on the market this offseason and has received interest from numerous teams, including the Mets and Orioles. The Mariners began just recently showing interest in the right-hander from the Dominican Republic.
The 37-year-old to be had a fantastic season with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2012, before adding another good season in 2013. In his most recent campaign, the 2012 All Star went 5-4 with a 3.38 ERA and 37 saves in 68 games with the Rays (113 ERA+). He did a fantastic job getting hitters to punch out (11.1 K/9 rate), while for the most part keeping the hitters off base via the free pass (4.9 BB/9 rate). Over the past two years, Rodney has a 1.91 ERA and 85 saves in 144 games with the Rays (201 ERA+).
It'll be hard to continue at that rapid pace that Rodney has had, but nonetheless he should be a force in the back of the Mariners bullpen that has needed some bolstering. The Mariners' relief corps posted the second-worst relievers' ERA in 2013 with a 4.58 mark. Rodney is expected to help bring that number down as the Mariners attempt to contend in the American League West in 2014.