Rodney happy to be reunited with Maddon

Cubs will ease newly acquired reliever into the mix

Rodney happy to be reunited with Maddon

LOS ANGELES -- Fernando Rodney admitted he didn't know many of the Cubs players, but he is familiar with the team. He's just like any other fan in that he has seen the highlights.

"I'm happy to be part of the team," said Rodney, whom the Cubs acquired from the Mariners Thursday for a player to be named or cash considerations. "I think it's a good team. There's a lot of talent. Every time you turn on the TV, you see the Cubs in the highlights. I think it's a good idea to be here and be a part of it."

Rodney made his Cubs debut in the eighth inning of Friday's 4-1 loss to the Dodgers. He retired the first batter he faced, then hit Scott Van Slyke with a pitch, threw a wild pitch, and retired the next two batters

Manager Joe Maddon knows the right-hander well. Rodney was part of the Rays bullpen in 2012-13, and appeared in a career-high 76 games the first season, compiling a 0.78 ERA (five earned runs over 74 2/3 innings). But this year hasn't gone as well for Rodney, who had a 5.68 ERA in 54 games with the Mariners.

"I know he had some struggles and we did some research on it to try to figure out what the differences were," Maddon said.

The Cubs will ease Rodney into the mix, Maddon said.

"[Justin] Grimm, [Pedro] Strop and [Hector Rondon] have done a great job so I'm not going to interfere with their work right now," Maddon said. "The idea would be to get Fernando out there, get his feet on the ground, see what it looks like and then start moving him."

When Maddon's name was mentioned to Rodney, he smiled.

"Me and Joe, we have good communication," Rodney said. "We're good friends outside of baseball. It's like a family -- that's what he showed me when we were in Tampa a couple years ago."

When Rodney completes a save, he is rather demonstrative, shooting an imaginary arrow into the air. Maddon called it "entertaining."

"The arrow is there," Rodney said. "As soon as I get a chance to show it off in the air, you'll see it."

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings. You can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat and listen to her podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.