The Brewers and right-hander Francisco Rodriguez are in agreement on a one-year, Major League contract, tweets Chris Cotillo of MLB Daily Dish. ESPN's Jerry Crasnick reported not long ago that the two sides were making significant progress on a deal, and MLB.com's Adam McCalvy added that they were discussing a Major League pact (Twitter link). Rodriguez, who is represented by Scott Boras, will earn $3.25MM with another $550K available via incentives, according to McCalvy.
This marks the third one-year deal that K-Rod has inked with the Brewers. Milwaukee originally acquired him (and cash) from the Mets in July of 2011 for a pair of players to be named later that turned out to be Danny Herrera and Adrian Rosario. Rodriguez inked a one-year deal with the Brew Crew that offseason and agreed to a one-year contract with Milwaukee again in April of last season, joining the club midway through the year.
While it's surprising to some, Rodriguez is entering just his age-32 season. The longtime Angels closer broke into the league as a 20-year-old in 2002, and he's pitched at least 46 2/3 innings in each season dating back to 2003.
Last year, Rodriguez was outstanding for manager Ron Roenicke, firing 24 2/3 innings of 1.09 ERA ball to go along with a 26-to-9 K:BB ratio. Rodriguez picked up 10 saves for the Brewers — including the 300th of his illustrious career — before being flipped to the Orioles in a deadline deal for infield prospect Nick Delmonico. Rodriguez would struggle a bit in Baltimore, pitching to a 4.50 ERA in 22 innings for the Birds. However, he maintained his strong K:BB numbers, whiffing 28 batters against just five walks. He didn't have the consistent 94-96 mph heat he had in his heyday, but Rodriguez still averaged 91.4 mph on his heater last season.
In 767 1/3 career innings, K-Rod has authored a 2.70 ERA with 304 saves, 10.9 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 for the Angels, Mets, Brewers and Orioles. His 304 saves are tied for 21st all-time, and he trails only Joe Nathan among active pitchers in that department.
Brewers GM Doug Melvin drew some ire from fans for his lack of activity on the free agent market, as just a few weeks ago, the Brewers were the only team in the Majors not to have signed a free agent to a Major League deal this offseason. Since that time he's added Matt Garza on a four-year, $50MM contract with a vesting/club fifth-year option and brought K-Rod back to solidify the bullpen.