The Mariners have traded closer Fernando Rodney, who was designated for assignment to the Chicago Cubs for cash considerations.
Fernando Rodney pitched his way out of Seattle and into a postseason race.
On Thursday, the Mariners traded their former all-star closer to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for cash considerations. The team had designated Rodney for assignment following Saturday night’s loss to the Oakland A’s. Seattle had 10 days to trade or release him. They found a taker in the Cubs.
Following typical baseball business practice, the Mariners had already placed Rodney and several other veteran players on revocable waivers following the July 31 trade deadline. Rodney went unclaimed, making it even easier for Seattle to trade him after being designated.
Rodney joins a Chicago team that would be the second wild card team if the season ended today. The Cubs are 5.5 games ahead of the Giants for the second-wild card spot. Chicago trails division-rival Pittsburgh by 3.5 games for the first wild card spot. The Cubs hopes of winning the NL Central seem slim with St. Louis leading them in the division by eight games.
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The Cubs bullpen has been inconsistent for much of the season, searching for middle relief help. They traded for Yoervis Medina earlier and even signed free agent Rafael Soriano in June. Medina has pitched mostly in the minors this season. Soriano has been abysmal. He made six appearances and posted a 6.53 ERA in 5 2/3 innings pitched before being optioned to Class AAA Iowa.
“He’s got the kind of stuff to get out both righties and lefties,” Maddon told the media after the Cubs’ 9-1 loss in San Francisco. “I know he had trouble, struggled a bit this year. But I’m eager to see it in person and find out what’s going on.”
Like Soriano, the Cubs are taking a chance on another former all-star closer that pitched under manager Joe Maddon while he was with the Rays. Rodney was in Tampa from 2012-13. He was an all-star in 2012, saving 48 games for the Rays’ postseason team. The next season, Rodney saved 37 games but struggled with command and effectiveness. It’s a similar story for the Mariners. Rodney was an all-star in his first season with Seattle, saving an AL-best 48 games in 2014. But command issues and inconsistency cost him his closer’s job in June and eventually his spot in his team.
Rodney, 38, was 5-5 with a 5.68 ERA in 54 relief appearances this season for the Mariners. He was 16-for-22 in save opportunities.