According to Anthony DiComo and Adam Berry of MLB.com, Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez has left agent Paul Kinzer of the Wasserman Media Group and signed on with Scott Boras.
K-Rod is playing out the final chapter of a three-year, $37 million free agent contract that he signed with the Mets in December 2008. The deal carries a hefty $17.5 million option for 2012 that will vest if he finishes 55 games this season.
He’s on track right now, but New York could trade him to a team with an established closer and end that quest. So Rodriguez is preparing himself for free agency by hiring the best agent around.
Rodriguez, 29, has registered a 3.16 ERA and 46/16 K/BB ratio in 42 2/3 innings this season, saving 23 games in 26 chances. The right-hander has a sparkling 2.54 career ERA and 291 career saves.
Last Thursday, we learned that the MLBPA was challenging the Nippon Professional Baseball posting system, delaying Japanese superstar Shohei Ohtani’s move to Major League Baseball. The latest collective bargaining agreement removed a lot of the incentive for players to come to the U.S. by capping pay. Ohtani, for example, can only receive a signing bonus between $300,000 and $3.53 million while his team — the Nippon Ham Fighters — would receive $20 million for posting him.
Jon Morosi reports that the deadline for this issue to be resolved is 8 PM ET on Monday evening. He notes that key NPB officials have worked through the night in Japan to try to reach a resolution. It is possible that even if no agreement is reached, the deadline could be pushed further back.
Ohtani, 23, has become a heralded hitter and pitcher in Japan. At the plate over his five-year career, he has compiled a .286/.358/.500 triple-slash line with 48 home runs and 166 RBI in 1,170 plate appearances. On the mound, he has a 2.52 ERA with a 624/200 K/BB ratio across 543 innings.