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Mariners rumors: Fernando Rodney on Seattle's radar

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Or I guess it would be sonar in this case.


The Seattle Mariners, in need of some bullpen help this winter, have shown interest in free-agent closer Fernando Rodney, reports Jon Morosi of Fox Sports.

Morosi notes that Rodney has a good relationship with new manager Lloyd McClendon from their time together with the Detroit Tigers, which could potentially come into play if their interest develops.

The Mariners made their big splash last week by signing Robinson Cano, but now need to spend the rest of the offseason building a contending club around him. If Seattle wants keep up with the rest of the AL West next season, restructuring the relief corps is among the moves the M's likely need to make.

Outside of Yoervis Medina and maybe Danny Farquhar, Seattle's bullpen left a lot to be desired in 2013. The 'pen finished the year second-worst in ERA (4.58) and walk rate (4.0), and was forced to experiment with closers when Tom Wilhelmsen completely lost his control midseason.

Rodney, 36, came nowhere close to repeating his record-setting 2012 season in his sophomore campaign with the Rays, but he should still command a not-insignificant chunk of money on the open market this offseason. The right-hander posted a 3.38 ERA and saved 37 games in 66⅔ innings for Tampa in 2013, a far cry from his 0.68 ERA and 48 saves in 2012 but still well above league average.

In the past, Rodney's success has largely hinged on his ability to limit free passes. However, he was able to put up solid numbers in spite of walking 4.9 batters per nine in 2013, likely because he accompanied it with a career-high strikeout rate (11.1 per nine). There's no telling if he'll be able to maintain such a high K rate, but if he can keep his strikeout-to-walk ratio at better than two-to-one next season, his history indicates he'll be successful.

Rodney made just $4.25 million in his two seasons with the Rays, a figure he should easily eclipse in average annual value alone on whatever pact he signs this winter.

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