Chicago Cubs acquire reliever Fernando Rodney from Seattle
By David Miniel
Following the crushing 9-1 loss at the hands of right-hander Madison Bumgarner and the San Francisco Giants, it was announced that the Chicago Cubs made another transaction in hopes of bulking up their bullpen.
According to CSN Chicago’s own Patrick Mooney on Twitter, the Cubs acquired veteran reliever and former closer, Fernando Rodney from the Seattle Mariners. But that wasn’t the only move Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer made – we’ll get to that part a little later.
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Rodney, 38, will be reunited with former Tampa Bay Rays and current Cubs skipper, Joe Maddon. Fernando spent two seasons with Maddon in Tampa Bay from 2012-2013 before he jumped ship to Seattle when he signed a two-year deal worth $14 million with the Mariners last February.
Former 2012 ‘A.L. Come Back Player of the Year’ and ‘Delivery Man of the Year’ had converted 48 saves at the end of his first season with the Rays which was good for second, trailing Baltimore Orioles’ own Jim Johnson in that category.
Not only did he receive two honors, but he finished with a career-best 0.60 ERA with only five earned runs on nine hits and 76/15 K/BB ratio across 74 2/3 frames that year.
Coming off his best season as a big league reliever, Fernando stumbled a bit in his year with the Rays. His 0.60 earned run average a year before ballooned to a 3.38 earned run mark while being tagged for 25 earned runs on 53 hits despite giving up only three long balls behind eight blown save – a career worst.
However, his first run with the Mariners in 2014 was labeled as a success. The then 37-year-old hurler lead the American League in saves during the first half of the season which resulted in him being selected as a late All-Star addition, filling in for David Price who took the mound the Sunday before the Summer Classic.
Rodney ended up setting a franchise record with 48 saves to surpass Kazuhiro Sasaki who finished with 45 back in 2001. Since then, things have gone hill for the newly acquired Cub.
He’ll join Maddon’s pen carrying a 5.68 ERA with 16 saves and 43 strikeouts. Corresponding moves following the acquisition include Zac Rosscup being optioned back to Triple-A Iowa and Brian Schlitter being designated for assignment.
Luckily, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times reported that Seattle received cash considerations in return for Rodney. We should get our first look at him in a Cubs uniform sometime during this weekend series against the Dodgers.