Mariners Add Relief

The Mariners signed veteran closer Fernando Rodney to a two-year contract yesterday, according to many reports. The team is waiting for Rodney to pass a physical before announcing it.

This is a big move for the Mariners, who had extreme bullpen problems last year. Seattle ranked 29th among the 30 MLB teams in bullpen ERA last year, and the team lost a whopping 27 games in the opponent’s last at-bat. The bullpen struggles were a surprise, as in recent years the team has been quite good at piecing together a quality relief corps.

Adding Rodney to the picture will take pressure off Danny Farquahar and Tom Wilhelmsen. Yoervis Medina will be pitching in the sixth or seventh inning, instead of the eighth. It eliminates any rush for Stephen Pryor to return from his injury prematurely.

This pick-up also improves the Tacoma pen, simply by pushing everyone one rung down the ladder. I like this signing – provided that Rodney performs well, of course.

One note: Rodney will have to be added to the 40-man roster, so somebody is going to get designated for assignment. We’ll find out who it is once Rodney passes his physical and inks the deal.

Links:

  • Here is the story from The News Tribune on the Fernando Rodney acquisition.
  • Ryan Divish took a look at the Mariners starting rotation prognosis.
  • Former Rainiers slugger Bryan LaHair is back from Japan – he signed a minor league deal with the Cleveland Indians.
  • It’s interesting that the quarterbacks for the Super Bowl and NCAA (or if you prefer, BCS) Champions both play baseball.
  • The Diamondbacks and Dodgers have started spring training. They get an early jump, because they are opening the MLB season with a two-game series in Australia in late March (just like the Mariners did in Japan a few years ago).
  • PCL news: the new ballpark in El Paso will not be ready for the team’s scheduled home opener on April 11. However, they are not missing the date by much: the team will play four “home” game in Tucson against Reno, and then have their real home opener on April 28. This possibility was anticipated by the league, which scheduled 20 of the Chihuahuas first 24 games on the road. More details from Baseball America.

The Rainiers don’t go to El Paso until May 31 – they should have all of the kinks worked out by then.

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