The Cubs announced Thursday afternoon the team acquired RHP Fernando Rodney from the Mariners for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Rodney will be with the Cubs on Friday and available for the opener of the Dodgers’ series.
LHP Zac Rosscup was optioned to Iowa to make room on the active roster for Rodney. The Cubs designated RHP Brian Schlitter for assignment to open a spot on the 40-man roster for Rodney.
The Cubs active roster consists of 13 pitchers (five starters, eight relievers) and 12 position players.
The Cubs’ 40-man roster currently stands at 40 players.
Fernando Rodney, 38, is a two-time American League All-Star, having earned the honor in 2012 with Joe Maddon’s Tampa Bay Rays and last season with the Mariners. He has collected 236 career saves and is 35-55 with a 3.77 ERA (288 earned runs in 688 1/3 innings) and 1.37 WHIP in 686 relief appearances with the Tigers (2002-03, 2005-09), Angels (2010-11), Rays (2012-13) and Mariners (2014-15). Rodney has averaged 8.8 strikeouts per 9.0 innings, recording 670 strikeouts in 688 1/3 innings while issuing 337 walks and allowing 52 home runs.
The 5-foot, 11-inch, 220-pound Rodney ranks fifth among active pitchers in saves and eighth in games pitched. His 149 saves since the start of the 2012 season rank second-most in the majors behind only Craig Kimbrel (175). Rodney has recorded 37 or more saves in a season four times, including a career-high 48 saves in both 2012 and 2014, making him one of just 16 closers in major league history with at least two seasons of 45 or more saves.
Rodney, who has pitched in 10 post-season games with the Tigers in 2006 and the Rays in 2013, has made at least 60 relief appearances six times, and has surpassed 70 games pitched three times, including a career-high 76 outings with the Rays in 2012.
Rodney this year went 5-5 with 16 saves and a 5.68 ERA (32 earned runs in 50 2/3 innings) with a 1.50 WHIP (32 runs on 51 hits with 25 walks and 43 strikeouts in 50 2/3 innings) in 54 games for Seattle before he was designated for assignment, August 23.
Last season with Seattle, Rodney led the majors with 48 saves, becoming the first Mariners closer to accomplish that feat while setting a single-season franchise mark. He converted 48 of 51 save chances, including his final 21 opportunities to finish the year, ranking third in the majors with a 94.1 percent conversion rate.
A native of Samana, Dominican Republic, Rodney recorded a club-record 48 saves for Tampa Bay in 2012 and 37 saves in 2013, becoming the first Rays closer with a pair of 35-plus save campaigns. His 0.60 ERA (five earned runs in 74 2/3 innings) in 2012 set a Major League record for a relief pitcher, breaking Dennis Eckersley’s 0.61 ERA with Oakland in 1990.
Rodney signed with Detroit as a non-drafted free agent in November of 1997. He was part of the 2006 American League pennant winners, going 7-4 with a 3.52 ERA (28 earned runs in 71 2/3 innings) in 63 relief appearances. In 2009, he took over closer duties for the Tigers and converted 37 of 38 saves chances.
Zac Rosscup, 27, is 2-1 with a 4.30 ERA (11 earned runs in 23 innings) in 26 relief appearances with the Cubs this season. With Iowa this year, Rosscup has posted no record with a 7.36 ERA (six earned runs in 7 1/3 innings) in eight relief outings, fanning 13 hitters in 7.1 innings pitched.
Brian Schlitter, 29, is 1-2 with a 7.36 ERA (six earned runs in 7 1.3 innings) in 10 relief outings for Chicago this season, and 2-2 with 22 saves and a 1.09 ERA (five earned runs in 41 1/3 innings) in 41 relief appearances with Iowa. He was acquired from Philadelphia for lefthander Scott Eyre, August 7, 2008.