Rodney, Cano eager to join forces as Mariners
World Baseball Classic teammates will reunite in Seattle
PEORIA, Ariz. -- All the Mariners are naturally eager to see Robinson Cano's arrival in camp Tuesday, but perhaps none more so than new closer Fernando Rodney.
Cano and Rodney were teammates on last year's Dominican Republic team that won the World Baseball Classic championship, but this will be their first time together on a regular-season squad.
The two veteran free agents were key acquisitions to help bolster a young Mariners squad looking to improve on last year's 71-91 record.
"That's the kind of player you want on your team," Rodney said. "A good guy, good teammate, he'll bring energy to the clubhouse. Just like we did in the WBC, that's the kind of team we want to bring here, where everybody is together. We've got the pieces here to make a good team. There are a lot of good young guys and that's what you're looking for."
Rodney said the five-time All-Star will bring more than just a strong presence in the lineup and at second base.
"With an experienced guy like Cano, the young guys can learn a lot of situations in the game from him and take advantage of all of that," Rodney said. "And I can help, too, with the guys in the bullpen. I think when you've got two people like that who can help, you can make something good."
Cano won't arrive in camp until Tuesday, the first day of full-squad workouts. The club's new $240 million man was flying in from the Dominican Republic on Monday and will meet with an expected media crush in an informal press conference after Tuesday's practice.
Cano was at the Mariners' grand-opening ceremony for their new Dominican Republic baseball academy Thursday and his eyes lit up when asked about the acquisition of Rodney.
"Oh, that was good," Cano said. "That's a big one. We know what he's capable of doing as a closer. Not only that, he's a guy that will motivate a team. He'll come out early. He'll be sitting in the dugout in the first or second inning, cheering guys on. It was the same way in the WBC. Those are the guys you want on your team, guys who know the game and want to win."