Name: Francisco Rodriguez.
Position: Right handed relief pitcher.
Age-30 in January.
Transactions: Signed by the Los Angeles Angels as an amateur free agent in 1998; signed by the New York Mets as a free agent in December 2008; traded to to the Milwaukee Brewers in July 2011.
Agent: Scott Boras.
Might he return to the Brewers? No.
Teams that could use and pay him: Boston Red Sox; Toronto Blue Jays; Baltimore Orioles; Chicago White Sox; Kansas City Royals; Minnesota Twins; Texas Rangers; New York Mets; Florida Marlins; Cincinnati Reds; Los Angeles Dodgers.
K-Rod has four pitches, which is a rarity for a reliever; he strikes out well over a batter-per-inning; despite high profile games he’s blown in the playoffs, he’s extremely reliable; his control appears worse than it is because he gets into a lot of deep counts and looks like he gets in trouble just for the sake of getting out of it—but he does get out of it; he doesn’t allow many homers; he works hard to stay in shape and loves to pitch.
He can be exceedingly selfish and stupid as evidenced by his assault on his father-in-law in the Citi Field family room in August of 2010. K-Rod was also openly displeased over the Brewers decision to never use him as a closer. When he’s asked to warm up, he likes to get into the game. His motion is stressful and despite his durability, as he ages, there’s always going to be the concern that he’ll eventually break down.
What he’ll want: 4-years, $50 million.
What he’ll get: 3-years, $35 million with a vesting option for a fourth year at $12 million.
Teams that might give it to him: Orioles; Rangers; Marlins; Dodgers.
K-Rod switched agents at mid-season from Paul Kinzer to Scott Boras. Mets GM Sandy Alderson pulled a skillful end-around on Boras by trading K-Rod to the Brewers before Boras was able to submit a list of teams to whom K-Rod could not be traded. The games finished option in K-Rod’s contract was worth $17.5 million for 2012, but neither the Mets nor the Brewers were going to come close to letting it kick in. K-Rod dropped the option for a bonus and his freedom. Boras will find a way to equate and surpass K-Rod’s history to Jonathan Papelbon‘s and will ask for a similar contract; after the way the summer went for Boras with his new client, he has to deliver on his promises.
Would I sign K-Rod? For teams that have a history of taking wayward players, straightening them out and putting them in a position to redeem their reputations and themselves, he’s a worthwhile shot—I’m talking about the Rangers. K-Rod would allow them to shift Neftali Feliz into the starting rotation.
The Marlins are throwing a load of offers around, but it remains to be seen who is going to take their money. They need a closer amid the uncertainty on and off the field of Juan Oviedo/Leo Nunez.
K-Rod is a real possibility for both.
I don’t expect the Dodgers or Orioles to be after K-Rod with any intent, but both clubs are unpredictable. The Orioles need a closer; the Dodgers might trust Javy Guerra, but Ned Colletti prefers veterans and if the Dodgers want to leap into contention, he might want to go get a “name”.
Will it be a retrospective mistake for the team that signs him? If they give K-Rod a Papelbon contract, they will regret it. If it’s for 3-years and the 4th year option isn’t the same as it was for 2012, then he’ll do the job he’s hired to do.