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Ex-Rays closer Rodney anxious to face former club

SEATTLE -- Fernando Rodney doesn't especially like the cooler temperatures in Seattle, the city he refers to as the "Penguin City," but after spending the 2012 and 2013 seasons with the Rays, he does like his new residence and new team, the Mariners.

When asked whether he looked forward to pitching against the Rays during this week's three-game series, he smiled: "Si."

During his conversation with reporters on Monday, he allowed that he had wanted to return to the Rays.

"I think they are going to sign me back," Rodney said. "They say I look for too much money, that's what they say. I don't know how to control that."

Rodney said the Rays never made him an offer, though he did receive two-year offers from the Mets, Orioles and Indians, and a one-year offer from the Yankees. He signed a two-year deal with the Mariners for $14 million.

"If I get $14 or $15 [million for two years], I stay," said Rodney, who entered Monday night's action with 11 saves.

Rays manager Joe Maddon made it clear he has nothing to do with the money being paid to players, so he wasn't involved in the Rodney decision.

"All I can say is this: I loved having him here," Maddon said. "Fernando was a big part of what we did the last couple of years. I love his personality. I consider him a really good friend. ... This guy here, when he was a Ray, I loved when he was here. He was a good teammate and he was really well liked in the clubhouse."

The Rays ended up with Grant Balfour as their closer, signing the right-hander to a two-year, $12-million deal.

"We feel fortunate that we did end up with Grant, because that wasn't going to happen either," Maddon said. "Again, the mechanics of how that all played out was kind of freaky."

Now that he's pitching for the Mariners, Rodney was asked if he still shoots the arrow into the sky after the games, to which he answered: "Yes, very far."

Bill Chastain is a reporter for
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