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New York Mets Send Francisco Rodriguez To The Milwaukee Brewers

LOS ANGELES, CA - JULY 06:  Closer Francisco Rodriguez #75 of the New York Mets blows a kiss after picking up a save against the Los Angeles Dodgers on July 6, 2011 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles, California.  The Mets won 5-3.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Adam BernacchioAnalyst IIIJuly 13, 2011

I wonder if Bud Selig was thrilled with the fact that a big trade was reported during the All-Star game...

At around 11:00 EST, which was in the middle of the eighth inning, SI.com’s Jon Heyman reported that the Milwaukee Brewers acquired Francisco Rodriguez and cash from the New York Mets for two players to be named later.

According to reports, those players will be selected off of a list of five provided by the Brewers.

It continues to amaze me that the organization that is in the smallest market in baseball continues to be one of the most aggressive in baseball. And don’t get me wrong. I am amazed in the best way possible. Every team that has a similar financial situation like Milwaukee should operate like the Brewers do.

The Brewers bullpen ranked in the middle of baseball with a 1.4 WAR, 3.48 xFIP, and 7.7 K/9. They needed a better bridge to get to closer John Axford, and Rodriguez will provide just that.

He is clearly no longer the flame-throwing power pitcher he was with the Los Angeles Angels back in the day. Those days are long gone. But Rodriguez is certainly still serviceable, and despite always having runners on base, still can get the job done.

After looking like he was toast in 2009, K-Rod has had a nice year and a half run in a Mets uniform. His BB/9 rate is down from the five walks per nine it was in 2009 to the 3.3 it is this season.

K-Rod is also inducing more groundballs than ever before (51 percent) and his 34 percent flyball percentage is the lowest of his career. That’s a good thing considering he is going from the friendly confines of Citi Field to the hitter-friendly Miller Park.

This deal does come with some risk for the Brewers. How will K-Rod react to going from the guy who gets the girl to the wingman who has to entertain the not-so-attractive friend?

As we have seen in the past, closers have had a rough time adjusting to their new role of setup man. However, in K-Rod’s favor is that he was once a top setup man back in the day before becoming a closer.

For the Mets, this is clearly about money. As we all know, K-Rod had a $17.5 million vesting option for 2012 if he finished 55 games in 2011. There was no way the cash-strapped Mets were going to allow this to happen.

Instead of waiting around and trying to get a better deal for K-Rod, which they might not have found, they struck quickly to rid themselves of his albatross contract.

Can’t blame the Mets for doing that.

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