Tag:Francisco Rodriguez
Posted on: January 17, 2012 2:22 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 3:14 pm

Ellsbury, K-Rod top MLB's other signings

Tuesday was the last day for arbitration-eligible players to sign 2012 contracts before the arbitration process begins with an exchange of salary figures. Thus, it was a deadline day for some MLB teams teams that have a policy of not continuing negotiations after arbitration numbers are exchanged.

The big arbitration news involved two aces, the Phillies' Cole Hamels and the Giants' Tim Lincecum. Hamels avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year, $15 million deal for 2012 with the Phillies, while Lincecum is headed to arbitration.

The biggest signing beyond Hamels was Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier, who got $10.95 plus incentives from the Dodgers.

Among other signings Tuesday:

-- Jacoby Ellsbury got $8.05 million from the Red Sox.

-- Francisco Rodriguez got $8 million plus incentives from the Brewers.

-- Michael Bourn got $6,845,000 from the Braves.

-- Delmon Young got $6.75 million from the Tigers.

-- James Loney got $6.375 plus bonuses from the Dodgers.

-- Mike Pelfrey got $5,687,500 from the Mets, with incentive bonuses based on innings pitched.

-- Jair Jurrjens got $5.5 million from the Braves.

-- Francisco Liriano got $5.5 million from the Twins.

-- Erick Aybar got $5.075 million from the Angels.

-- Shin-Soo Choo got $4.9 million from the Indians.

-- Jason Vargas got $4.85 million from the Mariners.

-- David Price got $4.35 million from the Rays.

-- Geovany Soto got $4.3 million from the Cubs.

-- Brandon League got $5 million from the Mariners.

-- Justin Masterson got $3.825 million from the Indians.

-- Max Scherzer got $3.75 million plus bonuses from the Tigers.

-- Luke Hochevar got $3.51 million from the Royals.

-- Tom Gorzelanny got $2.7 million from the Nationals.

-- Jordan Zimmermann got $2.3 million from the Nationals.

-- Joba Chamberlain got about $1.675 million from the Yankees.

-- David Robertson got $1.6 million plus incentives from the Yankees.

-- Glen Perkins got $1.55 million from the Twins.

-- Wilson Valdez got $930,000 from the Phillies.

-- Don Kelly got $900,000 from the Tigers.

-- John Baker got $750,000 from the Padres.

Posted on: January 17, 2012 12:54 pm
Edited on: January 17, 2012 2:23 pm

Hamels avoids arbitration, Lincecum doesn't

Cole Hamels signed a new contract Tuesday. Tim Lincecum didn't.

Hamels will get $15 million plus performance bonuses from the Phillies. Lincecum will exchange arbitration numbers with the Giants.

And none of that changes the big picture, because neither Hamels nor Lincecum has a new long-term contract yet.

As of now, Hamels is still eligible for free agency after the 2012 season. Lincecum is eligible after 2013.

And both can (and certainly will) continue to discuss long-term deals that will keep them off the market.

Hamels, who made $9.5 million in 2011, agreed to 2012 contract just before the deadline for arbitration-eligible players to exchange contract figures with their teams. Lincecum will go through the arbitration process, although he and the Giants can continue to work on a deal while awaiting a hearing.

According to CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman, Hamels' new deal also would pay him $100,000 if he's named the Most Valuable Player, $250,000 if he wins the Cy Young Award, $100,000 for World Series MVP and $50,000 each for LCS MVP, Gold Glove, Silver Slugger or an All-Star appearance.

Tuesday was a deadline day for some teams that have a policy of not continuing negotiations after arbitration numbers are exchanged.

Posted on: December 12, 2011 4:15 pm

Aramis isn't Prince, but he should help Brewers

Aramis Ramirez isn't Prince Fielder.

No one's saying he is.

But if you begin with the assumption that keeping Prince Fielder was always going to be a huge longshot, then Aramis Ramirez isn't bad.

The Brewers completed the rebuilding of the left side of their infield Monday, signing Ramirez to a three-year contract that will pay him about $36 mill, according to sources. With Ramirez at third and Alex Gonzalez (signed last week) at shortstop, they should be improved defensively.

And with Ramirez sliding into Fielder's spot in the middle of the batting order, they should be competitive offensively, too.

Ramirez becomes even more important to the Brewers with Ryan Braun's status in doubt. Braun faces a 50-game suspension for a failed drug test, with his appeal scheduled to go before an arbitrator sometime next month.

But Braun will be back. Fielder, barring what would now be an incredible turn of events, will not. The Brewers were faced with replacing 38 home runs, 120 RBI and a .981 OPS out of the cleanup spot.

Ramirez has a career .842 OPS. He has six career 100-RBI seasons, and he drove in 93 runs for a bad Cubs team last year.

He's not Prince, but he is a solid middle-of-the order bat.

With the Ramirez signing, the Brewers could be done with their major winter shopping. The plan has been to try young (and cheap) Mat Gamel at first base, and with Francisco Rodriguez accepting salary arbitration, the Brewers wouldn't have much money to spend on another first baseman, anyway.

They could still trade K-Rod to a team looking for a closer. They could consider dealing starting pitcher Randy Wolf or even Shaun Marcum if they wanted to use the money elsewhere.

But other than adding some depth, the Brewers now don't need to do anything else. Without Prince, and likely without Braun for the first 50 games, they still have a team that should compete again in the National League Central.

The Brewers won the division in 2011. The Cardinals, their closest contender, lost a manager (Tony La Russa) and a superstar (Albert Pujols). The Reds, who won in 2010, have yet to find a deal for the top starting pitcher they have long sought.

The Cubs, even if they sign Fielder, are likely a year or two away from true contention. The Pirates are improving, but not scary. The Astros are just starting on a long rebuilding process.

The Brewers may not be as good without Fielder. But with Ramirez, in this division, they could be good enough.

Posted on: August 19, 2011 7:41 pm

K-Rod says he's OK with Brewers role

NEW YORK -- The idea was that Scott Boras could sell Francisco Rodriguez this winter as the best closer on the free-agent market.

The problem right now is that K-Rod isn't even a closer at all for the Brewers. In fact, since the All-Star night trade that sent him from the Mets to the Brewers, Rodriguez hasn't had a single ninth-inning save opportunity.

But with the Brewers winning and with closer John Axford near-perfect, Rodriguez isn't complaining.

"When I came here, I was told I was going to be closing some games," Rodriguez said Friday. "Unfortunately, I haven't gotten opportunities, but the good thing is that it's because Ax is doing a great job. He's got something good going on.

"I didn't want to come here and mess up the chemistry they'd developed since spring training."

Rodriguez has a 2.03 ERA in 14 appearances for the Brewers, pitching mostly in the eighth inning as Axford's setup man. The additions of Rodriguez and Takashi Saito, who came off the disabled list, have made the Brewers bullpen one of the more effective ones in baseball.

Rodriguez had a $17.5 million contract option that was set to vest at 55 games finished, but shortly after the trade to the Brewers, Boras negotiated a buyout of the option. That cleared the way for the Brewers to use K-Rod as a closer, but Axford has been so effective that it hasn't happened.

Rodriguez said he wasn't concerned that the lack of closing chances would hurt him on the market.

"I've done it for so many years," he said. "By now, teams know what I'm capable of."

He also said that he expects to get some save opportunities between now and the end of the season. Brewers manager Ron Roenicke agreed that there will likely be days when he uses K-Rod as closer.
Posted on: July 15, 2011 6:57 pm

For $500,000, K-Rod waives option

Remember that $17.5 million option that made Francisco Rodriguez's contract so scary?

Well, forget it.

In exchange for bumping his 2012 buyout from $3.5 million to $4 million, sources confirmed that K-Rod has agreed to convert the vesting option (it would have vested with 21 more games finished) into a mutual option (which the Brewers will certainly turn down). As a result, the Brewers can use K-Rod however they want (he'll likely now become the full-time closer), and K-Rod can build up a resume that could allow him to hit the market as the top free-agent closer.

None of this should come as a surprise. As I wrote on Monday, the day before Rodriguez was traded from the Mets to the Brewers, Scott Boras, Rodriguez's new agent, preferred for him to become a free agent this year (at age 29) rather than next year (at 30). Boras believes that K-Rod can get a lucrative multi-year deal this winter.

There's no question that the switch is good for the Brewers, who can now use K-Rod as they please without worrying about the option. It's also good for Boras, since commission on the $17.5 million would have gone to K-Rod's former agent, Paul Kinzer.

Is it good for K-Rod? It could well be, if Boras is able to get him that multi-year deal this winter.

It's not good for Kinzer, but after what we learned this week, Kinzer can hardly complain. As first reported by David Waldstein in the New York Times, Kinzer never filed the list of 10 teams that would have been on Rodriguez's no-trade list. That's a stunning mistake, one which very likely cost Rodriguez some money (which he would have received for waiving the no-trade clause).
Category: MLB
Posted on: July 13, 2011 4:44 pm
Edited on: July 14, 2011 9:48 am

Roenicke says K-Rod, Axford will both close

So who closes games for the Brewers, incumbent John Axford (23 for 25 in saves this year) or newly acquired Francisco Rodriguez (23 for 26)?

How about both of them? Brewers manager Ron Roenicke told Adam McCalvy of MLB.com on Wednesday morning that both Axford and K-Rod will close, and both will set up.

We'll see how that works, but it could be the best way of dealing with egos and also (and significantly) with K-Rod's $17.5 million vesting option. The option vests when Rodriguez finishes 55 games, and K-Rod already finished 34 games with the Mets.

There is a danger, of course. If Axford has a few blown saves, the pressure would be on Roenicke to start using K-Rod every time.

Since K-Rod's new agent, Scott Boras, is believed to like the idea of taking him to the free-agent market this winter, it still seems possible that the Brewers could eventually negotiate a buyout to make the vesting option disappear -- and thus make it irrelevant how many games he finishes. Boras and K-Rod would have an incentive to do that kind of deal because K-Rod can best build his free-agent value if he is closing games, especially now that he's on a team in a pennant race.

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 13, 2011 12:06 am
Edited on: July 13, 2011 1:30 am

Brewers acquire K-Rod from Mets

Is there any doubt left that the Brewers are going for it this year?

On the same night that free-agent-to-be Prince Fielder was the star of stars in the All-Star Game, his Brewers team completed a trade to acquire closer Francisco Rodriguez from the Mets. The first-place Brewers will send two players to be named later to the Mets, who will pay part of Rodriguez's contract.

That contract was thought to be an obstacle to a K-Rod trade, because it includes a $17.5 million option for 2012, which vests if he finishes 55 games (he has 34 already). But things changed once Rodriguez switched agents and hired Scott Boras, because Boras would prefer for K-Rod to become a free agent at the end of the season.

It's possible that Boras will make a deal to buy out the option, probably by increasing the $3.5 million buyout that already exists in the contract.

Rodriguez is 23-for-26 in save situations this year for the Mets. He has a 3.16 ERA, but a career-high 1.16 WHIP. By adding a closer, the Brewers could move John Axford (23-for-25 in save situations) into a set-up role, helping what has been a middle-relief problem for them this year.

They could also have Axford close with K-Rod setting up, which would make it unlikely that the option vests. But again, Boras is not nearly as interested in the option as K-Rod's former agent was.

Rodriguez will be reunited with Brewers manager Ron Roenicke, who was an Angels coach during the best years of K-Rod's career.

There was never much chance that the financially-strapped Mets were going to keep Rodriguez past this season. The Mets are also likely to trade outfielder Carlos Beltran by the end of the month. It's significantly less likely, but perhaps not impossible, that they would also trade shortstop Jose Reyes.

The Mets will likely use Bobby Parnell as their closer, now that K-Rod is gone.

Fielder is also eligible for free agency at the end of the season, but the Brewers made a decision last winter to keep him and try to win with him one last time. That decision looks good so far, as Fielder had an MVP-type first half and the Brewers entered the All-Star break tied with the Cardinals atop the National League Central.

Category: MLB
Posted on: July 11, 2011 8:25 pm
Edited on: July 11, 2011 8:58 pm

Does option hinder K-Rod trade? Maybe not

PHOENIX -- For weeks, the conventional wisdom on Francisco Rodriguez has been that if the Mets trade him, it would be to a team that needs a setup man rather than one that needs a closer.

The thinking was that with K-Rod already 62 percent of the way toward guaranteeing his $17.5 million vesting option for 2012 (he needs 55 games finished, and he has 34 at the All-Star break), no team would want to take a chance on letting him get there.

But here's something to think about, something that might change that conventional wisdom significantly:

K-Rod just changed agents, from Paul Kinzer to Scott Boras. Boras is likely to be less worried about the vesting option and more concerned about positioning Rodriguez as the best closer on this winter's free-agent market (and, in fact, Boras reminded reporters Monday that K-Rod is a closer and should remain one). The best way to position Rodriguez as a closer is to have him close games all year -- and if he does it in a pennant race, so much the better).

But what about that $17.5 million?

Well, it doesn't need to be $17.5 million. K-Rod could potentially (and would consider, according to sources) bargain away that vesting option, perhaps for an increase in the $3.5 million buyout that is already part of his contract.

That way, the Mets could get prospects they need back in a trade (and avoid paying the $17.5 million themselves), the acquiring team would get a quality closer (and not run the risk of spending $17.5 million next year themselves). And K-Rod would get an improved buyout, a chance to better position himself in the free-agent market, and the opportunity to hit the market at 29 years old, rather than at 30.


Mets general manager Sandy Alderson told reporters last week that it's "very unlikely" that he'll trade Jose Reyes, who will be a free agent at the end of the season.

I'm starting to believe him (especially with Reyes currently on the disabled list), but I'm still not fully convinced. And here's one significant thing to remember when considering whether Reyes will be traded:

When Reyes closed the door on in-season contract negotiations with the Mets, he didn't completely rule out an in-season deal with a team that would trade for him. In fact, sources say, Reyes would be willing to consider such a proposal.

Why would he listen to another team and not the Mets, when he has said that he loves playing in New York and would like to stay with the Mets? Two possible reasons: One, Reyes knows that the Mets are in no financial position now to make him an offer that he would consider accepting, and he doesn't want them to make an offer that would solely help them public relations-wise. Second, were he to talk with another team, it would only be during a brief window once a trade was agreed to, so it wouldn't be nearly as much of a distraction.


Of all the Mets, All-Star Carlos Beltran remains the most likely to be traded, in part because his contract doesn't permit the Mets to offer him salary arbitration at the end of the season. Thus, the Mets would not get any draft-pick compensation when Beltran signs with another team.

The Giants are one team known to be interested in Beltran.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com