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Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Rumors: Mariners showing 'serious' interest in Nelson Cruz and Fernando Rodney

By on 1/29/2014 04:07:00 PM

The Seattle Mariners made the biggest splash of the offseason after agreeing to a 10-year, $240 million contract with second baseman Robinson Cano. They were expected to make a couple more significant moves after that, but there was nothing. No rumors, no signings. Nothing.

By Keith Allison via Wikimedia Commons

Until now. The Mariners have "serious" interest in free agents Nelson Cruz and Fernando Rodney, according to Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

Cano, Cruz and Rodney have something in common. The three were teammates during the Dominican Republic's surge to the World Baseball Classic title.

Of the two current free agents, Nelson Cruz' name is the biggest. He is a power hitting outfielder who is more than capable of hitting 30 or more home runs. As Rosenthal said, he would provide a formidable right-handed complement to Cano in the Mariners' lineup. In 109 games with the Rangers last season, Cruz hit .266 with 27 home runs and 76 RBI's.

Rodney wouldn't be as splashy of a signing as Cruz would be, but he definitely would make a difference late in games. He has played 11 seasons at the big level and is a solid closer. With the Tampa Bay Rays in 2012, Rodney had a career year, as he went 2-2 with a 0.60 ERA and a 76/15 strikeout-to-walk ratio. He didn't have the same success in 2013, but he still had a solid year. He went 5-4 with a 3.38 ERA and a 82/36 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

In order to be contenders, the Mariners will need to make another move. Adding Cruz and/or Rodney would definitely help them get closer to that status. Expect to hear plenty more rumors come out of Seattle in the coming weeks.

Follow Robert on Twitter @RobertMurrayMLB


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