Another player drops off Orioles radar as Mariners sign Fernando Rodney

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Another reported Orioles target is off the board as Fernando Rodney is reported to be signing with the Mariners.

Whether the Orioles ever actually wanted to sign Fernando Rodney is open for debate, but one of the ongoing media narratives of the offseason was their pursuit of him, unless it turned out they weren't actually talking. Whatever was the case about that, it seems that Rodney is off the board and headed elsewhere:

Keri has a great track record with Rodney scoops, of course: he was the one who reported the Orioles were "making progress" with Rodney when multiple beat reporters, local and national indicated that the O's and Rodney's agent hadn't spoken for weeks. The first part of the preceding sentence is sarcasm. Maybe Keri and Rodney's agent were college roommates or something.

The O's have now been reported to be interested in two ex-Rays relievers this offseason and have ended up with none thus far. The Grant Balfour experience led to the Rays getting him at 20% off market price. Rodney is off to Seattle for less than what the O's were lined up to pay Balfour. The O's did not beat this offer to Rodney. That should be OK to all of Birdland.

UPDATE 6:30pm: As far as whether the O's were ever even that serious about Rodney, the Baltimore Sun's Dan Connolly doesn't think so:

Now we know why the Orioles haven't signed anybody! There was "interest" but not "aggressive interest." Maybe it was more like passive-aggressive interest.

There have been times where it was frustrating to watch other teams signing players while the Orioles just stand around as wallflowers in this dance. Watching Rodney go elsewhere is more of a relief. Just say no to insisting on a "proven" closer who is really just a guy repeatedly thrown at the 9th inning despite his 4.5 BB/9. He had the year of his career when he put up a 0.60 ERA at age 35 in 2012 and he'll probably never come close to that again. Enjoy that 37-38-year-old reliever, Seattle.

Now please someone teach Tommy Hunter how to get out left-handed hitters, or at least how to not have them hit home runs.

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