Padres officially sign reliever Rodney

Padres officially sign reliever Rodney

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres officially have a closer, or at least a candidate who has experience in closing games.

The Padres announced that their one-year deal with right-hander Fernando Rodney was official on Thursday. The deal includes a club option for 2017.

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San Diego general manager A.J. Preller said Thursday that Rodney will get every "opportunity to win that [closer] job."

"One of the biggest things, he's maintained velocity, he's always had the good fastball and changeup and he's been a guy who works hard off the field," Preller said. "He's been there, done that. And when we combined those factors, it's kind of an upside play."

Rodney will make $1.6 million in 2016, though there's a chance to earn another $5 million in performance bonuses for games finished and appearances.

The club option for 2017 includes a base salary of $2 million with the potential of another $5 million to be made in performance bonuses for games finished and appearances. The option includes a $400,000 buyout.

Rodney, who will turn 39 in March, is actually older than his new manager, Andy Green, by nearly four months.

Rodney has notched 236 saves over 13 big league seasons with the Tigers, Rays, Angels, Mariners and Cubs. He led the Majors in saves (48) with Seattle in 2014.

But last season was a struggle for him. He started last season as the Mariners' closer, but he was designated for assignment in August and later traded to the Cubs.

Last season, Rodney had a 5.68 ERA in 50 2/3 innings and 16 saves with Seattle, though he blew six save opportunities.

Rodney was better with the Cubs, albeit in a small sample size, allowing one earned run in 12 innings with 15 strikeouts. He allowed two runs in 1 2/3 innings in two playoff games, with both runs coming on a home run by Daniel Murphy of the Mets in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series.

The Padres needed help and experience for the back end of the bullpen after trading Craig Kimbrel (Red Sox) and Joaquin Benoit (Mariners) earlier in the offseason. The Padres also recently opted to move one of their most successful relievers -- Brandon Maurer -- into the starting rotation.

The 2016 bullpen will look little like the one that finished the 2015 season, and not just because Kimbrel and Benoit are gone. The team has added 10 new pitchers this offseason who essentially peg as relievers, including three with Major League service time -- Rodney, Carlos Villanueva and Drew Pomeranz.

Now it's up to pitching coach Darren Balsley and the coaching staff to see how all the pieces potentially fit. Pitchers and catchers report to Arizona on Feb. 18, with the first workout set for the following day.

The Padres have long had a history of successful and dependable closers, starting with Mark Davis, who won the NL Cy Young Award in 1989. Trevor Hoffman had nine seasons of 40 or more saves, and Heath Bell followed with three seasons of 40 or more saves.

Corey Brock is a reporter for Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.