Ken Rosenthal reports that Francisco Rodriguez and the Milwaukee Brewers have made a deal: K-Rod is waving his $17.5 million option in exchange for additional compensation now. He’ll become a free agent when the season is over.
This makes sense for everyone. For the Brewers, they can now use Rodriguez in any capacity they wish, be it closing, setup or mopup, without having to worry about the games-finished clause. For Rodriguez, he gets a chance to enter the free agent market with much better stats — more games; more innings; more saves, most likely — and thus be a far more attractive commodity than he would have been if he had been used sparingly in an effort to avoid the option from triggering.
And of course this is great for Scott Boras who, his posturing notwithstanding, clearly wanted to get his new client on the free agent market ASAP. After all, if K-Rod got his $17.5 million, that commission would go to the old agent, Paul Kinzer. A cut of any new deal is all for Boras.
And speaking of Boras, he went on XM Radio today, talking about just how awful a disservice Kinzer did to K-Rod in allegedly not submitting his no-trade list to the Mets before they could ship him to Milwaukee. I touched on this yesterday, noting that it’s not at all clear that Kinzer really failed in this duty, and even if it is, it was a moot and harmless event.
This new deal — which was clearly already brewing as Boras made his media rounds to slam his rival agent — makes it pretty clear that K-Rod wasn’t harmed at all. He was eager to go to Milwaukee and once he got there, he struck a deal that is both player and agent-friendly.
So what I’m saying: take Boras’ hand-wringing over that no-trade list with a grain of salt. Maybe the whole shaker. It’s grandstanding and backbiting. Nothing more.
Earlier, Craig wrote about how Dodgers outfielder Yasiel Puig is back in manager Dave Roberts’ doghouse once again. Puig didn’t slide into second base when he was caught stealing to end Saturday’s game, which irked Roberts.
Puig didn’t earn himself any brownie points on Monday as he was late to a team workout and was benched as a result, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports. Roberts said, “That was a decision he made, not me.” Roberts added that he was disappointed in Puig, though he did note that the former All-Star’s behavior has been improved for most of the season.
Puig, 26, has had a solid season, batting .259/.339/.474 with 26 home runs, 70 RBI, 66 runs scored, and 15 stolen bases in 554 plate appearances. While he hasn’t provided value on the same level as Justin Turner or Corey Seager, he’s been a valuable part of the lineup which makes this drama all the more unfortunate with just a week and a half before the start of the NLDS.
Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports that the Pirates were granted an exemption by Major League Baseball and the players’ union which will allow infielder Jung Ho Kang to participate in the Dominican Winter League without being removed from the restricted list.
Kang, 30, has been denied a visa by the Department of State as a result of his third DUI in South Korea last September. Kang was also under investigation in 2015 for alleged sexual assault.
Kang is under contract through the end of 2018 and the Pirates have a club option for the 2019 season as well, so it makes sense they would try to get him into some type of baseball action ahead of next season. The infielder has hit .273/.355/.483 in 837 plate appearances across two seasons in the majors. As Brink notes, Kang has already arrived to the Dominican Republic and will work out with his team, Aguilas Cibaenas, ahead of the start of the season on October 20.