By John Boyle
The signing of relief pitcher Fernando Rodney, which was first reported last week, is now official, with the Mariners announcing the move Thursday.
Rodney had 85 saves over the past two seasons with Tampa Bay and is expected to take over the closer role in Seattle. Rodney, who turns 37 next month, signed a two-year deal, reportedly worth $14 million.
And while Rodney should help improve the Mariners bullpen, the news wasn’t all positive for Seattle on Thursday. To make room for Rodney on the 40-man roster, the Mariners placed Franklin Gutierrez on the restricted list, announcing that outfielder won’t play in 2014.
From the release from the Mariners: “Gutierrez told the team that he has suffered a relapse of many of the symptoms he struggled with last spring, and does not believe it is fair to the team to come to camp if he is unable to compete due to health reasons. Instead he will spend the upcoming season focusing on getting fully healthy.”
Gutierrez, who re-signed with Seattle in the offseason, has appeared in just 173 of 486 games over the past three seasons, making six separate trips to the disabled list while battling numerous injuries, as well as illness, which was eventually diagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome.