The Nationals, of course, have a clear need for bullpen help, and while K-Rod has been torched to this point of the 2017 season, he could at least make sense as a possible depth options for the Nats to stash in Triple-A for the time being. The 35-year-old Rodriguez was clobbered for a 7.82 ERA through 25 1/3 innings in Detroit thanks largely to a staggering nine home runs allowed in that small sample of work. He’s had success with a diminished fastball in recent seasons, but this year’s average of 88.9 mph is the lowest of his storied career.
For all of his 2017 struggles, Rodriguez did post a very solid 3.24 ERA with 8.0 K/9, 3.2 BB/9 and a career-high 54.7 percent ground-ball rate as the Tigers’ closer in 2016, totaling 44 saves throughout the year. He’s earning $8MM this year, though the Tigers are on the hook for the remainder of that considerable sum. If he does indeed land with the Nats, Washington would only have to pay him the pro-rated portion of the league minimum for any time spent in the Majors.