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February 13, 2014 at 10:47 AM

Fernando Rodney signing is official; Franklin Gutierrez opts not to play in 2014

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Fernando Rodney has passed his physical and signed his two-year, $14 million contract. The Mariners made the announcement official on Thursday afternoon.As you can see above, he participated in the team’s first workout this morning and continues to wear his hat in his trademark style.

“It feels good to be here,” Rodney said. “I think we have the pieces here to compete in the division. I know my situation is come in late and close the game.

Rodney, 36, saved 37 games last season, while posting a 5-4 record and a 3.38 ERA in 68 appearances.

“I’m glad he’s signed and I’m extremely happy to have him,” Mariners manager Lloyd McClendon said. “He solidifies the back end of our bullpen.”

McClendon was bullpen coach in Detroit when Rodney was with the Tigers and saved 38 games in 2008.

“He’s a tremendous, frontline pitcher and he has great character,” McClendon said. “I think Mariners fans are going to love him.”

The corresponding move to put Rodney on the 40-man roster was slightly interesting and sort of surprising, but not really based on past history. The team placed outfielder Franklin Gutierrez on the restricted list.

Why?

Gutierrez called Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik a few days ago ago and notified that he would not be playing in 2014. Gutierrez has had a relapse of the gastrointestinal issues (irritable bowel syndrome) that plagued him last offseason and decided it would not be fair to the Mariners if he arrived in camp in his condition. He has instead chosen to not play in 2014 and will try to focus on his health. Gutierrez had signed a one-year contract for $1 million in the offseason. Since he’s on the restricted list, he won’t get any money from that contract or acquire any major league service time.

“It’s very unfortunate for him,” McClendon said. “His health just did not cooperate with him. We’ll see where we go as we move down the line with him.”

Gutierrez’s absence doesn’t make things easier for a Mariners outfield group that already has questions surrounding it.

“It gives other individuals opportunities, ” McClendon said. “They have to take advantage of it.”

It’s another lost year for Gutierrez, who was hoping to make it back as a part-time outfielder this season. He missed 106 games last season with two separate stints on the disabled list with hamstring issues and problems related to condition he said was ankylosing spondylitis.

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