Seattle Mariners DFA Fernando Rodney


Rejoice, Seattle Mariners fans: the dreaded woodblock has been heard for the last time.

The Seattle Mariners are in need of a shakeup, though at this point it’s imperative that we acknowledge that the current season is unsaveable. There iz no roster move that will put the M’s in contention, nothing to be done to salvage what’s left of this season. Any moves made this year will be minor and cosmetic. Such as designating Fernando Rodney for assignment, which just happened.

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After another late-inning collapse, the Mariners decided to shuffle some relievers around. Rodney’s been DFA’d, and Danny Farquhar is heading back to Tacoma. Roenis Elias got called up to pitch out of the bullpen, and 33-year-old journeyman Logan Kensing is coming up to fill a ‘pen spot, too. It won’t solve anything – it might not even make the team better – but this is a symbolic gesture.

Fernando Rodney didn’t single-handedly cost the Mariners the season. You could argue he didn’t really have that much of a negative effect at all, given the lack of quality options behind him. So Rodney blew some saves… was there anyone else on this team who could’ve been counted on to do any better?

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Yet he was the one to do it. It wasn’t some other happless reliever dishing up homers and walks – it was Rodney. Not to mention his success last year, and certainly to say nothing of his salary. The guy who’s being paid as much as the rest of the bullpen combined was the guy who visibly screwed up in high-stakes situations, and so he’s the guy who’s dismissal we’ll be celebrating.

Here’s what Rodney’s 2015 looks like: 50.2 IP, 7.64 K/9, 4.44 BB/9, 16% HR/FB, 5.68 ERA, 5.25 FIP, -0.8 WAR. And a team-leading 16 saves, which goes to show just how thin this bullpen is. He blew six saves! He allowed more ninth inning runs on the year than any other pitcher in baseball!

Ever since his arrival on the scene, Rodney’s been playing with fire. He throws hard, misses often, and doesn’t always make up for it with big strikeout numbers. This season his K rate went way down while his homers allowed went way up, all while his terrible-as-always walk rate remained terrible, as always. That’s the makings of a nightmare pitcher, and that’s what the Mariners had in the back of their bullpen up until now.

This move might make the rest of the season a little less painful. The Mariners still have an awful, terrible bullpen, but it’s now free of Fernando Rodney and his sideways hat and his imaginary arrows and his woodblock intro music. Those are things we have a negative association with. Those things have a name: The Fernando Rodney Experience. And we don’t have to experience it ever again.

The Mariners made a roster move to get rid of a 38-year-old reliever who has been amongst the game’s very worst this year. We won’t miss him, and most of us are probably happy to see him go. Despite Rodney’s performance, this is a move that is mostly emotionally-driven. And sometimes that’s okay.

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