Waking up today I do what I always do, check and see if I missed any Brewers news since last night. Much to my surprise I found several articles on us landing big name closer Francisco Rodriguez. While the deal on the surface looks good I have a couple problems in what Doug Melvin has done here. Not that K-Rod isn't a great closer, or even that the compensation isn't right, but that is a role we already have filled by the very capable, and more cost effective, John Axford.
It seems this year that we have built a club around not only good hitting and quality pitching, but camaraderie and respect. Even Nyjer Morgan, a player with a long standing history of being a distraction in the clubhouse, has worked hard and was embraced by the fans in Milwaukee. But, with a high energy closer like Rodriguez has Melvin bit off more than he can chew with this trade?
Even though K-Rod has stated that he would be fine going to a setup role as long as he was traded to a contender I don't believe him. With the amount of money he stands to lose, coupled with his recent switch to agent Scott Boras, I believe before long K-Rod will be nipping at the heels of Axford to try and get some closing time. In my mind the Brewers could have made a better move that would not have caused the waves that are sure to come now, and all the questions about who the closer is for Milwaukee.
I'm curious to know why guys like Mike Adams (2.16 ERA, 2.65 BB/9, 9.27 K/9) , Kevin Gregg (4.00 ERA, 3.85 BB/9, 8.26 K/9), and Brandon League (3.85 ERA, 3.03 BB/9, 6.65 K/9) were passed over for the job. All these options are cheaper than K-Rod, and have a history of being setup guys and middle relievers more than closing games, and they also bear a distinct resemblance to most of the stats Rodriguez has put up in recent years.
Will K-Rod for sure be a cancer, no, but look at the facts:
1.Traded out of closers role that would have gotten him 17.5 mil if he reached 55 games finished.
2.Has a dominant personality that will be hard for Ron and crew to handle.
3.Will be a media distraction for a team that was already clicking before the break.
K-Rod does bring to the table an almost 10 K/9 rate, 3.16 ERA, and a 51.7% ground ball rate which are all nice to have. But, a career 3.97 BB/9 and a decline in velocity would make me think twice about employing him. Not only are we going to be out some cash, but the Mets also get two players from our already depleted farm system. They have 5 players to choose from by September and the names that are probably involved are for sure going to make us cringe. So, hang on Brewer Nation, it's gonna be a bumpy ride.