(1090 The Fan) — It’s not just big bats the Mariners are going after this offseason, the team wants to bulk up the bullpen. That need has turned the team’s attention to free agent reliever Fernando Rodney.
Jon Paul Morosi of FOX sports tweeted Rodney’s time in Detroit with new Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon could play a role in luring the closer to Seattle.
Rodney, who turns 37 ahead of the 2014 season, also has ties to the recently signed Robinson Cano. Both he and Cano played on the 2013 Dominican Republic World Baseball Classic team.
Rodney racked up 85 saves in the past two seasons with the Tampa Bay Rays. In 2012, his All-Star season, he finished with a WHIP of 0.777 and a 5.1 strikeouts-to-walks ratio. Rodney saw his numbers slip a little in 2013, but was still regarded as one of the better closers in the American League.
The eleven-year veteran would probably settle for a one-year deal with a contender, but will likely be seeking something closer to a two-year, $12 million deal.
Seattle might pay above-market value for Rodney because of the team’s desire to strengthen its bullpen with more reliable arms. Tom Wilhelmsen, who began the 2013 season as the team’s closer, lost his job towards the end of summer for his inconsistencies. His replacement, Danny Farquhar showed promise but has not officially been named the team’s closer onward.
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