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.
The Cardinals went from winning 100 games last season to 82 entering Wednesday evening’s game, and they might not even make the playoffs. Still, the organization will bring back manager Mike Matheny for the 2017 season, Jose de Jesus Ortiz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports.
Owner Bill DeWitt, Jr. said, “Mike’s done a really good job for us. There’s no thought that we’re going to go in any different direction.”
GM John Mozeliak also expressed his support, saying, “Mike takes a lot of heat, and I’ve defended him and I will continue to. I really feel like some of the things that we’re dealing with aren’t fair to put on the manager.”
Mozeliak continued, “I do feel like all of us are always held accountable for what we do here, so there’s nobody excluded from that. But having said that, I don’t look at him as someone that we are where we are because of that.”
Matheny has received criticism for his bullpen usage, but the Cardinals have only 15 blown saves as a team, the fourth-lowest total in baseball this season.
The Phillies’ bullpen led to yet another loss on Tuesday. Severino Gonzalez, Luis Garcia, Joely Rodriguez, and David Hernandez combined to allow six runs in five innings, allowing the Braves to come back and win 7-6 after falling behind 6-0 after the first two innings.
The game prior, the Phillies’ bullpen surrendered 14 runs in four innings in a 17-0 loss to the Mets. The game before that, the bullpen yielded four runs in four innings, nearly squandering the Phillies’ 10-0 lead after four innings. And last Thursday, the Phillies had taken an 8-6 lead in the top of the 11th, but Edubray Ramos served up a walk-off three-run home run to Asdrubal Cabrera. It’s been a tough month.
Manager Pete Mackanin ripped the bullpen when speaking to the media after Tuesday’s game. Via Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly:
Neris was going to close for us. I thought about using him with two outs in the eighth. But, at some point, somebody else has to do a (bleeping) job. Somebody else has to (bleeping) step up. In two games now, every reliever I brought in has given up a (bleeping) run. That’s unheard of.
The Phillies currently own the fourth-worst bullpen ERA in baseball at 4.97. Only the Rockies (5.12), Reds (5.07), and Diamondbacks (4.98) have been worse.
In fairness to the bullpen, aside from Jeanmar Gomez (who lost his job as closer earlier this month) and free agent signee David Hernandez, the bullpen is intentionally comprised of young, inexperienced pitchers as the Phillies are still rebuilding. If the Phillies were aiming for a playoff spot, it would be one thing, but the struggles are to be expected when one throws 24-year-olds into the deep end.