Tuesday, July 12, 2011

K-Rod trade makes sense for Brewers and Mets

The Milwaukee Brewers' acquisition of Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez Tuesday was a well-calculated move that has a built in safeguard against K-Rod ever reaching his incentive clause (finishing 55 games), which would automatically earn him $17.5 million in 2012.
Because the Brewers already have a decent closer in John Axford, at best K-Rod will share the closing role or serve primarily as a set-up man to Axford.
Though we don't yet know who the Mets get in return, likely prospects, they had to deal Rodriguez before he got much closer to the magic number or they'd scare off suitors.
Milwaukee tied with St. Louis for the NL Central lead, gets a solid addition to the bullpen for the second half of the season and the risk is minimal, not only in terms of K-Rod getting his exorbitant payday, but in terms of him going south, mentally, if put exclusively in a setup role. This is the last year of his contract (unless the incentive is met), so he's going to want to pitch well and then shop his talents as a closer elsewhere in the offseason.
The only way the deal completely backfires on Milwaukee is is Axford were to get hurt early in the second half of the season. That, in turn, would force them to use K-Rod as the everyday closer.
But short of a perfect storm, the deal strengthens the Brewers and helps free some Jose Reyes money for the Mets - who are not winning a wild-card, with our without K-Rod.


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