Brewers sign reliever Takashi Saito to one-year contract

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Takashi Saito and the Brewers have finalized a one-year contract, with Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reporting that the deal could pay the 41-year-old reliever up to $3.2 million based on incentives.

Saito can’t handle a full workload at this point in his career, rarely pitching on back-to-back days for the Braves this year, but he remains an elite reliever with a 2.83 ERA, .203 opponents’ batting average, and 69/17 K/BB ratio in 54 innings.

He figures to serve as John Axford’s primary setup man, although Saito could take over closing duties if Axford struggles after more or less coming out of nowhere to save 24 games with a 2.48 ERA as a 27-year-old rookie. Saito saved 81 games in three seasons with the Dodgers. And that Milwaukee pitching staff keeps looking better and better.

Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord

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John Wisely of the Detroit Free Press reports that current free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez is being sued by his former landlord for damage to the rented property as well as missing artwork. The landlord is asking for $80,000 after having kept Rodriguez’s $15,000 security deposit.

The lawsuit says that Rodriguez damaged a bedroom TV, a crystal floor lamp, glass shelves in the bar, glass tiles in the master bath, and a Moroccan mirror in the powder room. Additionally, the suit claims that the bedding is stained and paint has chipped, as well as other damages. And the piece of art that is allegedly missing, which depicts a tiger, is valued at more than $10,000.

Rodriguez has not yet been served with the suit, but the landlord has been speaking to his managers.

The Nationals released Rodriguez, 35, two weeks ago after having signed him to a minor league contract in late June. He started the season with the Tigers, but struggled to a 7.82 ERA over 25 1/3 innings before being released.

Report: Rays acquire Lucas Duda from the Mets

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MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports that the Rays have acquired first baseman Lucas Duda from the Mets. The Mets will receive pitching prospect Drew Smith in return, per Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports.

Duda, 31, is batting .246/.347/.532 with 17 home runs and 37 RBI in 291 plate appearances for the Mets this season. He’ll provide a potent bat in the Rays’ lineup as they attempt to overcome their current 2.5-game deficit in the AL East.

Smith, 23, is the Rays’ No. 30 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. He ascended from High-A to Triple-A already this season, posting an aggregate 1.60 ERA with a 40/9 K/BB ratio over 45 innings across four stops with High-A Lakeland (Tigers), High-A Charlotte (Rays), Double-A Montgomery, and Triple-A Durham.