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.
Sportsnet’s Ben Nicholson-Smith reports that the Blue Jays and third baseman Josh Donaldson are tabling extension talks as the two sides weren’t able to build any momentum towards agreement on a new contract.
Donaldson said, “We’re not quite there. That, to me, right now is not the major focus and I’m turning the page.” He added, “I want to play this season and really focus on winning games because, ultimately, our goal is to win a World Series and I don’t want to hinder that at all.” Donaldson also said he expects to hit free agency.
The 32-year-old avoided arbitration with the Blue Jays last month, agreeing on a $23 million salary for the 2018 season. He’s a free agent at season’s end. Last year, the three-time All-Star hit .270/.385/.559 with 33 home runs, 78 RBI, and 65 runs scored in 496 plate appearances. Donaldson missed six weeks in the first half with a calf injury, but was able to return and post terrific numbers, so his health — at least that aspect of it — shouldn’t be a concern going into spring training.
If Donaldson does reach free agency, he’ll join a star-studded group that will likely also include Bryce Harper, Manny Machado, Charlie Blackmon, and A.J. Pollock.