Mariners rumors: Seattle 'in on' Fernando Rodney

Brad Penner-US PRESSWIRE

Three teams have shown recent interest, but Rodney might make the most sense for the M's.

The Mariners are among the teams considering free agent closer Fernando Rodney, as Yahoo Sports' Tim Brown reports. Brown mentions that the team is "making a good run," citing that a two-year offer could be a tipping point in negotiations.

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The Mariners reshaped their franchise last month by signing Robinson Cano, and added Logan Morrison and Corey Hart shortly thereafter. But since then, things have been quiet in Seattle. That may no longer be the case now that the organization has named a new team president.

There was some ambiguity about the Mariners' budget after shelling out the most lucrative contract in franchise history -- and one of the biggest of all time -- but new president Kevin Mather has indicated that general manager Jack Zduriencik has the ability to spend. Via the Seattle Times' Bob Dutton (h/t Lookout Landing):

Mather said Zduriencik sought the flexibility to explore possible additions, and "he does have that." How that money is spent, and if it is spent, will be up to Zduriencik. "Jack Zduriencik is in charge of the baseball club," Mather emphasized. "I think the president’s role is to provide resources…"

Rodney isn't likely to command a massive contract, especially after Grant Balfour signed his new 2-year, $12 million deal to replace Rodney in Tampa Bay. Balfour's situation is more complicated due to some injury concerns, but the Rays gave him a clean bill of health before finalizing the deal. That deal could damage Rodney's average annual value aspirations, since he has been less consistent than Balfour over the last several seasons.

However, Rodney does have 2012 on his résumé. He was outrageously good that year, finishing 5th in AL Cy Young balloting with a 0.60 ERA and 48 saves over 74⅔ innings. Last season, Rodney's walk rate (4.9 BB/9) regressed to right around his career mean of 4.5 BB/9 (1.8 BB/9 in 2012). He finished the season with a 3.38 ERA and 37 saves.

In Seattle, Rodney could slide into the team's ninth inning role pretty seamlessly. In 2013, Tom Wilhelmsen began the year as the team's closer, but he struggled, specifically in June (10.97 ERA). Danny Farquhar finished the year admirably, closing 16 games for the M's in the second half with a 2.23 ERA in 32⅓ innings. However, he's only thrown 57⅔ innings in the majors, and his career numbers at the Triple-A level are underwhelming (3.55 ERA and 1.34 WHIP in 106⅓).

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