It’s been a little over seven weeks since the last time I wrote about the Mariners. And they have been THE BEST seven weeks of my entire life! Le sigh!
Of course, all good things have to come to an end, so let’s see if I can find my place in this offseason.
The last thing I wrote about was Franklin Gutierrez re-signing. This took place during a period of relative activity in this Mariners offseason. We hired our field manager in early November, and then nothing happened for a month, and then in December we had the blockbuster Robinson Cano signing, the Corey Hart signing, the Logan Morrison trade, all the talk about possibly trading Taijuan Walker (and/or others) for David Price, and then Guti. Over a span of two weeks, we all got to be cautiously optimistic, while knowing there were still MANY more moves that needed to be made if this team TRULY wanted to contend, as opposed to making it appear like they wanted to contend.
Since Guti? The Mariners were supposedly trying to sign that Masahiro Tanaka pitcher from Japan (he ended up signing with the Yankees). The Mariners were possibly going to make Tony La Russa their president (they ended up, instead, going with someone in-house). The Mariners signed a backup catcher in John Buck. The Mariners signed starting pitcher Scott Baker to a minor league deal (with a guarantee only if he makes the Major League squad). And Chuck Armstrong finally retired. THAT is your Mariners news in a nutshell for the last seven weeks. Oh, and to make room on the 40-man roster, the Mariners gave Carlos Peguero to the Royals for practically nothing.
What started out as a fantastic start to an offseason ended up being, pretty much, the ENTIRE offseason. I do the heavy lifting so you don’t have to, my friends.
Which brings us to yesterday, where we learned Fernando Rodney signed a 2-year, $14 million deal. His career has been spotty to say the least, he will be 37 years old by the time the season starts, and he’s really hanging his hat on one amazing season where he had 48 saves and a sub-1.00 ERA in 2012. He was also pretty good last year, but I dunno.
He throws hard, he can be a little wild, and he’s prone to some pretty fucked up meltdowns. Does he remind you of anyone? Does he remind you of every closer the Mariners have had since the dawn of time?
Relievers tend to fluctuate from season-to-season, so it’s impossible to predict how well they’re going to do. If we get Good Fernando Rodney, then we’ve just improved our bullpen a great deal. We move a solid Danny Farquhar into the 8th inning role. That pushes Yoervis Medina back into the earlier innings with Wilhelmsen, Furbush, and whoever else. I’m pretty high on Farquhar’s abilities and predict he’ll be closing games again for this team before too long; but in the meantime if this means we have one of the best 8th inning guys in the A.L., then I’m okay with that. All of our other bullpen guys could range from outstanding to out-of-baseball and it wouldn’t shock me, so I won’t be holding my breath anytime soon.
Right now, I put this move ahead of the Mariners signing Jose Mesa, but behind signing Arthur Rhodes (the first time).
Also, pitchers and catchers report on February 12th. That’s right, next week. God damn, the baseball season is too fucking long.