A source close to the reliever told Andy Martino of the New York Daily News that Francisco Rodriguez is going to be pretty flexible about a deal should the team attempt to move him this summer.
According to the source, Rodriguez will consider any deal presented to him and would discuss getting rid of his vesting option for 2012 in return for a multiyear extension.
It’s K-Rod’s vesting option that has had the Mets jumpy for over a year now. Rodriguez will earn $17.5 million next season if he finishes 55 games this year. Even if he doesn’t, he gets a $3.5 million buyout.
Rodriguez has finished 18 of the Mets’ 47 games so far, putting him on pace for 62 games finished over the course of the season.
K-Rod’s deal allows him to block trades to 10 teams. There’s nothing in Martino’s article that says he’s looking to get out of New York as soon as possible, but it wouldn’t be a surprise if he welcomes a move in July.
It will be interesting to see if there’s a market for him. If the Mets are willing to eat the $3.5 million, perhaps some team would take him on for the rest of this year and pay him $14 million in 2012. It’s more than he’d command on the open market, but Rodriguez is still doing a terrific job in the closer’s role (he’s 15-for-16 saving games this year) and he shouldn’t cost much at all in terms of talent.
“When Alexander saw the breadth of his domain, he wept for there were no more worlds to conquer.”
Or: “When Theo Epstein won World Series championships with the two most championship-starved franchises in baseball history, he got bored, and decided to run for the Senate or something.”
That latter bit is the premise of a Politico piece speculating that the Cubs president could go into politics one day. The story features an interview with former Obama chief strategist David Axlerod, who thinks Theo has what it takes. Mostly what he has is fame, popularity, good looks and money. No idea what his positions on issue are, but that other stuff goes a long way in politics these days.
Bonus: given what we just elected last fall, a guy who once had a little temper tantrum and dressed up in a gorilla suit is just as viable a candidate as anyone.
When you promote a player from the minors, the first and foremost consideration is whether or not he can help your ball club. But, assuming that’s taken care of, teams should really, really make it a priority to call up dudes with cool sounding names because it makes life more interesting for the rest of us.
The Pirates are doing that. The other night Dovydas Neverauskas made his big league debut. In addition to being the first Lithuanian born-and-raised player in major league history, it’s a solid, solid name. Now the Pirates are making another promotion: Gift Ngoepe.
Yep, Gift Ngoepe. He’s an infielder from South Africa, making the leap to the bigs due to David Freese‘s hamstring injury. Ngoepe, 27, was batting just .241/.308/.379 through 66 plate appearances this season with Triple-A Indianapolis, his ninth in the minors, so he’s not exactly a prospect. But man, that’s a killer name.
It’s also worth mentioning that Gift and Neverauskas were arrested together in a bar fight last August in Toledo, so there is already a good basis for some bonding here.
Good luck, Gift. Gift Ngoepe. Mr. Ngoepe. G-Ngo. Man, I could do this all day.