Say what you will about the Seattle Mariners, but one you just can’t argue: This franchise is definitely going to go down swinging. The days of Seattle passing on top-notch free agents are long gone as the Mariners decided to make another move on Thursday, but it’s hardly of the “Slam Dunk” variety.
Seattle reportedly reached a two-year deal with former Tampa Bay Rays closer Fernando Rodney worth a grand total of $14 million. Despite the always intriguing Grant Balfour being available for most of the winter, Rodney really stuck out as the free agent closer with the most potential. However, with potential comes a certain expectation and we all know just how fluky the closer position can be.
With that being said, I would a fool not to mention the fact that Rodney had 85 saves over the last two seasons, which is actually more than Mariano Rivera had in that time frame. But let’s not act like Rodney isn’t prone to a total clunker of a season in 2014. After posting a downright filthy ERA of 0.60 in 2012, the Rays’ closer took a minor step back last summer as his ERA ballooned to 3.38.
One look at Rodney and you can’t help but think of former Detroit Tigers closer Jose Valverde, who is now out of baseball after leading MLB in saves just two short seasons ago. Seattle is taking a risk by bringing Rodney to town and recent history tells us that this move will either work out extremely well for the Mariners or extremely bad — there’s really no gray era with this flamethrower.