From Brewers director of media relations Mike Vassallo comes word that the Brewers have reached agreement on a minor league contract with free agent right-hander Francisco Rodriguez.
K-Rod passed his pre-signing physical on Wednesday morning at the Brewers’ spring training complex in Maryvale, Arizona.
The 31-year-old posted a rough 4.38 ERA across 72 innings last season for the Brew Crew and failed to attract many offers on the open market this winter. But the Brewers’ bullpen has been awful in the early going and they’re suddenly desperate for depth.
Rodriguez will probably spend a few weeks at extended spring training, but he could eventually be tried at closer in Milwaukee if John Axford is unable to get on track and Jim Henderson can’t handle the job either. K-Rod owns a 2.70 career ERA, a 1.18 career WHIP and 294 career saves in 11 major league seasons.
Pitcher David Phelps has a torn UCL and will undergo Tommy John surgery, ending his 2018 season, the Mariners announced on Wednesday. Phelps was making brief one-inning stints in the Cactus League as he worked his way back from a procedure to remove a bone spur from his elbow last September. He said he felt the ligament tear on his final pitch against the Angels in his March 17 appearance.
Phelps, 31, was expected to set up for closer Edwin Diaz. The right-hander, between the Marlins and Mariners last season, posted a 3.40 ERA with a 62/26 K/BB ratio in 55 2/3 innings. He and the Mariners avoided arbitration in January, agreeing on a $5.55 million salary for the 2018 campaign. Phelps will become eligible to become a free agent at the end of the season.
As the Mariners noted in their statement, the expected recovery period for Tommy John surgery is 12-15 months, so this very likely cuts into Phelps’ 2019 season as well.