TIM BOOTH, AP Sports Writer
SEATTLE (AP) — The Seattle Mariners’ wallet is still open.
They reached agreement Thursday on a $14 million, two-year deal with reliever Fernando Rodney, according to a person familiar with the deal.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreement was subject to a physical. The deal, first reported by ESPN, also includes performance bonuses.
The agreement with Rodney is general manager Jack Zduriencik’s latest splurge in a busy offseason. Seattle’s big splash was the signing of second baseman Robinson Cano to a $240 million, 10-year contract, but the team followed with deals for Corey Hart, Logan Morrison and John Buck
Rodney had 37 saves for Tampa Bay last season, appearing in 68 games. He saved 85 games in two seasons for the Rays and will be reunited with new Seattle manager Lloyd McClendon. The pair was together in Detroit where Rodney pitched from 2002-09 and was one of the top relievers in baseball. After two down seasons with the Los Angeles Angels, Rodney revitalized his career with an All-Star season for the Rays in 2012 and another solid campaign in 2013. Rodney had a career-best 48 saves and a 0.60 ERA with the Rays in 2012.
Rodney will go into spring training with the chance to claim the closer role for the Mariners. It was a position of inconsistency a year ago with Tom Wilhelmsen starting the season as the Mariners closer before struggles led to Danny Farquhar getting an opportunity. Wilhelmsen finished with 24 saves but none after July 28 when he was sent down to Triple-A Tacoma and appeared in eight games. Farquhar took over as Seattle’s closer in August and had 16 saves.
AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum contributed to this report.
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