The Mariners have designated former closer Fernando Rodney for assignment, the club announced following Saturday’s loss to the White Sox. In corresponding moves, the M’s also optioned righty Danny Farquhar to Triple-A, called up southpaw Roenis Elias and purchased the contract of right-hander Logan Kensing.
Thanks in large part to a 1.42 HR/9 (more than double his career average) and his lowest K/9 total (7.6) in four seasons, Rodney posted a 5.68 ERA over 50 2/3 IP this season, a performance that cost him his job as the Mariners’ closer. It’s probably unlikely that Rodney will be claimed or traded during his DFA period given that he already cleared revocable trade waivers last week. Rodney is still averaging 94.8mph on his fastball (same as last season) so it’s possible another team could look to sign the 38-year-old veteran as bullpen depth before the rosters expand on September 1.
The Mariners are responsible for the approximately $1.5MM in salary still owed to Rodney for the remainder of the season, except for the pro-rated portion of the minimum salary should Rodney sign elsewhere. The right-hander signed a two-year, $14MM free agent deal in the 2013-14 offseason and performed extremely well in the contract’s first year, posting a 2.85 ERA, 10.3 K/9 and 2.71 K/BB rate over 66 1/3 innings en route to a league-best 48 saves. Rodney and his new agents will undoubtedly point to his 2012-14 dominance when the righty looks for a new contract in free agency this year, though obviously this year’s numbers will greatly diminish his market.
Kensing has spent the last two seasons with the Mariners’ Triple-A affiliate, and he has a 2.30 ERA, 6.6 K/9 and 2.56 K/BB rate over 31 1/3 innings this season. Kensing has appeared in just one Major League game since 2009, pitching two-thirds of an inning for the Rockies in 2013.