By Bob Dutton The News Tribune
PEORIA, Ariz. — Enter former All-Star closer Fernando Rodney; and exit oft-ailing outfielder Franklin Gutierrez. And that was just part of the news on a busy Thursday when the Mariners conducted their first official workout.
Rodney, 36, passed his routine physical examination — the last hurdle in confirming a two-year deal for $14 million. The clearance arrived in time for him to take part in the workout at the Peoria Sports Complex.
“I’m not surprised that it’s taken some time (to sign as a free agent),” Rodney said. “I think I got the right organization. I’m more interested (in that), and I’m happy to be here.”
The Mariners cleared space on their 40-man roster by placing Gutierrez, 30, on the restricted list. That decision came after he notified that club that he didn’t plan to report to camp or play in 2014 due to ongoing health issues.
A player on the restricted list remains under club control but does not count against its 40-man roster limit. Players on the restricted list don’t get paid and don’t receive service time.
The Mariners did not specify Gutierrez’s medical concerns — and, technically, he was placed on the list because of his refusal to come to camp. But he battled through gastrointestinal issues a year ago.
“It’s very unfortunate,” manager Lloyd McClendon said. “His health just did not cooperate with him. We’ll see where we go as we move down the line. It gives other individuals opportunities.”
Rodney was 5-4 last season at Tampa Bay with a 3.38 ERA in 68 appearances while converting 37 of 45 save opportunities. He was an All-Star in 2012 when he had a 0.60 ERA and 48 saves in 76 games.
“It’s good to be here and be part of what they have here,” he said. “There’s a lot of talented young guys. I think we have the pieces the team needs to compete in the division.”
Wolf, Miner added
Lefty Randy Wolf and right-hander Zach Miner also officially joined the camp roster as non-roster invites after passing their physical examinations.
Wolf, 37, did not pitch last season while recovering from a second Tommy John surgery to repair a torn elbow ligament. He is 132-117 with a 4.20 ERA in 376 games over 14 seasons with six clubs.
Miner, 31, split last season between Philadelphia and its Class AAA Lehigh Valley affiliate. He was 25-20 with a 4.24 ERA in 157 games for Detroit from 2006-09 before undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Wolf gets $1 million if he makes the big-league club, and his contract includes multiple performance bonuses for innings, starts and appearances.
Miner gets $750,000 if he makes the big-league club, and his deal includes a June 15 opt-out clause if he’s still in the minor leagues.
Absent from camp
Veteran reliever Ramon Ramirez and catcher Manny Pina failed to arrive in time for the first official workout because of visa issues in exiting their home countries. Both are on camp roster as non-roster invites.
Ramirez, 32, has a 3.42 ERA in 423 games over eight big-league seasons. He spent most of 2013 at Class AAA Fresno in the San Francisco system.
Pina, 26, has just five games of big-league experience in 2011-12 with Kansas City. He batted .228 last season with seven homers and 38 RBI in 86 minor-league games.