10:30 p.m. EST update: A source told Venezuelan reporter Marcos Grunfeld that Francisco Rodriguez has accepted the arbitration offer. U.S. sources Danny Knobler and Jon Heyman haven’t comfirmed, but they do say it’s likely.
6:15 p.m. EST update: A Boras rep told the Journal Sentinel’s Tom Haudricourt that K-Rod has yet to decide on arbitration. The deadline is midnight eastern tonight.
MLB Network’s Peter Gammons said differently yesterday, but FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal indicates that Francisco Rodriguez is likely to accept arbitration from the Brewers prior to the midnight deadline tonight.
Rodriguez had drawn interest from the Mets and Padres, but both of those teams have filled their closer’s roles in the last 24 hours. The Mets signed Frank Francisco for two years and $12 million last night, while the Padres acquired Huston Street from the Rockies earlier today.
Rodriguez doesn’t want to serve as a setup man for John Axford again, but with the closer market dwindling, he could stand to make far more money in arbitration than elsewhere. Rosenthal speculates that he’d earn $13 million next year that way. It’s possible a trade could follow; when Rafael Soriano surprised the Braves by accepting arbitration two years ago, a deal with the Rays was quickly worked out afterwards. As much as K-Rod wants to close, he probably wouldn’t stand in the way.