With Spring Training just around the corner, the Seattle Mariners are still not done acquiring players. Jonah Keri was first to report Thursday afternoon the M’s and free agent right-handed reliever Fernando Rodney have agreed on a two-year, $14 million contract, with an additional $1 million possible in incentives.
This signing likely means Rodney will be the new Seattle closer, with right-hander Danny Farquhar providing insurance in that role. Rodney closed for the Tampa Bay Rays the past two seasons. He produced a career year in 2012, saving 48 games in 50 chances, compiling a 0.60 ERA and 5.07 K/BB, and finishing 13th in the American League Most Valuable Player race. The right-hander came down to Earth a bit last season, as he struggled with his command at times, walking 36 batters in 66 2/3 innings pitched. Yet, Rodney still converted 37-of-45 save opportunities.
The 36-year-old Rodney will also provide a much-needed right-handed veteran option in a bullpen where the elder statesman is currently Charlie Furbush, a left-hander.
This deal also follows the pattern of free-agent closers receiving two-year contracts this offseason. Rodney’s former team, the Rays, signed Grant Balfour to a two-year, $12 million contract, while the Detroit Tigers snagged former Minnesota Twins and Texas Rangers closer Joe Nathan for two-years, $20 million.