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.
Rockies reliever Seunghwan Oh recently said to the Yonhap News Agency that he wanted to return to South Korea to finish out his career. He has one year and $2.5 million remaining. His 2019 club option became guaranteed when he reached 70 appearances in the 2018 regular season. It sounded like Oh didn’t want to pitch for the Rockies next season. Oh said, “I am a bit exhausted after spending five seasons in Japan and the United States. I feel like I want to return to the KBO while I still have the energy to help the team and pitch in front of home fans. I can’t make this decision alone. I’ll have to speak with my agency about the next season.”
Rockies GM Jeff Bridich has a different sense of the situation, per Patrick Saunders of the Denver Post. Bridich said, “From what we have been told, it was much ado about nothing regarding Oh. His comments to the Korean media were not specifically about 2019. It was more about ending his career there. Our understanding is that he has every intention of honoring his current contract.”
Oh, 36, pitched 68 1/3 innings this past season between the Blue Jays (47 innings) and Rockies (21 1/3). In aggregate, he posted a 2.63 ERA with a 79/17 K/BB ratio in 68 1/3 innings. The Rockies have the bulk of their bullpen returning next year, save for Adam Ottavino who is a free agent.