Most pundits figured the Seattle Mariners weren't finished making moves this offseason. If they were going to compete immediately with $240 million man Robinson Cano on board, then they were going to need more help, especially in that tough AL West.
The Mariners got another piece Thursday, agreeing to a two-year deal with closer Fernando Rodney worth $14 million. Grantland's Jonah Keri was first to report, but our man Tim Brown confirmed it and tells us Rodney can get $500,000 per year in incentives.
It's true. Rodney to Seattle for 2-$14m. Can make another $1m based on games finished. Physical pending. @jonahkeri had it first.
— Tim Brown (@TBrownYahoo) February 6, 2014
Rodney will be 36 at season's start, coming off a season in which he saved 37 games for the Tampa Bay Rays. He had a 3.38 ERA in 66.2 innings, which paled in comparison to his lights-out 2012 season for the Rays. He saved 48 games and had a minuscule 0.60 ERA.
Even 2013 Rodney is an improvement over what the Mariners trotted out of the bullpen last season. They were second-to-last in MLB with a 4.58 bullpen ERA. Only the Houston Astros were worse. Tom Wilhelmsen and Danny Farquhar got most of the saves for the M's, 24 and 16, respectively, but both had an ERA above 4.00.
In Rodney, Seattle is also getting another personality. He shoots invisible arrows into the sky when he gets a save and wears his hat crooked (might we recommend The Stew's year-by-year comparison). We have to wonder whether he'll come to Seattle, channel Ken Griffey Jr. and wear the cap fully backward for the next two seasons. Probably not, but that would be fun.
The Mariners still may not be done. They've been linked to free-agent slugger Nelson Cruz, whose potent bat could help the Seattle lineup if he rebounds strongly from last season's PED suspension.
- - - - - - -