In an effort to bolster their bullpen, the Cubs acquired veteran reliever Fernando Rodney from Seattle. To make room for Rodney, the Cubs optioned left-hander Zac Rosscup to Iowa and relief pitcher Brian Schlitter was designated for assignment.
The majors save leader a year ago with 48, the 38-year-old was not the same pitcher this season in Seattle, going 5-5 with a 5.68 ERA. He had 16 saves in 22 opportunities with a WHIP of 1.50 before being designated for assignment on Aug. 23. He’ll have to return to some form of the 2014 season to have a significant impact for the Cubs the rest of the way.
Cubs have spent the entire season looking for bullpen help and its the second time they’ve made a deal with Seattle, obtaining Yoervis Medina for Welington Castillo early this year. They also brought in Rafael Soriano, who landed on the DL and is currently rehabbing in Iowa.
Rodney 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. With 236 career saves, Rodney has a career 8.8 K/9 has appeared in 686 games with the Tigers (2002-03, 2005-09), Angels (2010-11), Rays (2012-13) and Mariners (2014-15). He also has post-season experience with the Tigers and Rays.
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.
Since his most recent call-up, Rosscup 2-1, has only pitched in one game and is 2-1 with a 4.30 ERA in 26 relief appearances for the North Siders. Schlitter leads the Iowa bullpen with 22 saves and a 1.09 ERA after starting the year in Chicago. The 29-year-old had a 7.36 ERA in 10 games for Chicago and got charged with two blown saves.