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Mariners sign closer Rodney

Tampa Bay Rays closer Fernando Rodney pitches against the Boston Red Sox during the ninth inning of their MLB American League baseball game
Tampa Bay Rays closer Fernando Rodney pitches against the Boston Red Sox during the ninth inning of their MLB American League baseball game

(Reuters) - The Seattle Mariners have signed free agent closer Fernando Rodney to a two-year contract, the American League team announced on Thursday.

The 36-year-old right-hander from the Dominican Republic signed for $14 million, according to media reports.

Rodney went 5-4 with 37 saves and a 3.38 earned run average for the Tampa Bay Rays last season, following a breakthrough season in which he saved 48 games with a miniscule 0.60 ERA.

Rodney's signing came in the wake of news that Seattle outfielder Franklin Gutierrez will miss the entire 2014 season due to ongoing gastrointestinal issues.

Adding the hard-throwing closer was the latest move in a busy offseason for the Mariners, striving to improve on their 71-91 record of last year.

Seattle made a huge splash by signing slugging free agent second baseman Robinson Cano to a 10-year, $240 million deal, also added power-hitting outfielder/first baseman Corey Hart to liven up their offense.

(Reporting By Andrew Both in Cary, North Carolina; Editing by Larry Fine)

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