At some point the Mariners will presumably want to add a high-priced closer to their increasingly expensive roster and Jon Morosi of FOXSports.com reports that Seattle is interested in former Rays closer Fernando Rodney.
Morosi notes that Rodney knows new Mariners manager Llloyd McClendon from their time together with the Tigers, although back then Rodney was mostly just a mediocre setup man. In fact, Rodney had a 4.28 ERA in seven seasons with the Tigers compared to a 1.91 ERA in two seasons with the Rays.
At age 37 it’ll be interesting to see what type of contract Rodney can get. His ERA skyrocketed this year, going from an MLB record 0.60 to 3.38, but a) 3.38 is still pretty good and b) his secondary numbers included a career-high 11.1 strikeouts per nine innings.
Following the Astros’ decisive 4-0 shutout over the Yankees on Saturday night, the team crowned ace Justin Verlander the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series. Hall of Fame outfielder and former MLB manager Frank Robinson handed the award to Verlander, who was beaming as he thanked his teammates and members of the Astros’ organization.
“I’ve got to say, it came down to the wire, and one thing kept going off in my head was Dallas,” Verlander told the crowd gathered at Minute Maid Park. “When he called me, he said that I won’t regret my decision to join the Houston Astros. And here we are right now, it’s the best feeling in the world. We’ve got four more wins to win a World Series, and I do not regret my decision to come here. This is the best feeling a player can have. So, thank you.”
Among a cast that boasted the likes of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Dallas Keuchel, among others, Verlander was spectacular. He locked down a complete game win in Game 2, holding the Yankees to one run on five hits and a walk and striking out a postseason-high 13 batters. In Game 6, he saved the Astros from elimination with seven scoreless innings, helping propel the club to their eventual 7-1 finish that set up their series-clinching finale on Saturday.
The 34-year-old righty also took his place among some postseason greats. Thanks to an eight-strikeout outing on Friday night, his collective 136 postseason strikeouts are good for sixth-most in MLB playoff history, just a smidgen shy of Tom Glavine (143), Mike Mussina (145), Roger Clemens (173), Andy Pettitte (183) and John Smoltz (199). He also joined Bob Gibson, Curt Schilling and Sandy Koufax as one of just four hurlers to strike out 20+ Yankees in a postseason series.