The K-Rod trade has been a story that Brewer fans have been patiently waiting to unravel. The trade happened during the break and the fans in Brewer nation have yet to see K-Rod play and still don’t know who the Players to Be Named Later are. Until something actually happens this trade will be a hard thing to judge, but I see one thing that makes this trade more worthwhile than most would think. K-Rod is the only current Brewer reliever with winning playoff experience.
Currently on the Brewers roster, the only other two relievers with experience in the post-season are Takashi Saito and LaTroy Hawkins. Hawkins’ experience in the postseason is minimal. Although Hawkins has a number of games under his belt he has not been very successful during those games. Saito and Hawkins also have no winning experience in the grand daddy that is the World Series (Hawkins was with the Rockies in 2007, made two appearances in the late innings but never got the save)
This trade is as bold as the Marcum and Greinke trades because the Brewers are bringing in a reliever used to pressure and even more used to winning. During his time with the Angels, K-Rod helped win a World Series ring and was a regular contender in the playoffs. He is possibly the only late inning reliever left in the majors who is unfazed by pressure. Setting records and winning pennants, K-Rod has a long traveled history that the Brewers will cherish in the back of their pen (with many years in front of him).
Although the risks the Brewers have taken on K-Rod are large at the least, assuming a nearly $20 MM salary next year that they could use in the fight to keep Prince (not that I am any bit optimistic about their chances in that auction) and having a two closer committee in their pen could cause problems since K-Rod is none for having a little fire under his ass at all times. This may give the Brewers a competitive edge they need, since their only other traveled winner is Craig Counsell.