Mariners fans know this story: Player flunks out of Mariners season, graduates to pennant race.
That is the case for Fernando Rodney, who failed as closer and was fired Sunday. The Mariners traded him him for cash Thursday to the Chicago Cubs, who are in the second wild-card spot in the National League.
Of course, to keep the job, Rodney has to pitch far better than he did in 2015 in Seattle.
The key element here is that Cubs manager Joe Maddon had Rodney in 2012 and 2013 when both were in Tampa Bay.
“He’s got the kind of stuff to get out both righties and lefties,” Maddon told reporters after the Cubs’ 9-1 loss in San Francisco that left them 73-53. “I know he had trouble, struggled a bit this year. But I’m eager to see it in person and find out what’s going on.”
Rodney, 38, was designated for assignment Sunday, meaning the club had 10 days to trade or release him. He already cleared revocable waivers that the club asked for him and several players after July 31 trade deadline.
An All–Star in 2014 with a club-record 48 saves, Rodney, 38, lost command of his fastball, part of a bullpen-wide collapse that saw the group fall from baseball’s best to one of its worst in less than a season.