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.
Yankees outfielder Aaron Hicks left Sunday’s game against the Rangers after four innings due to soreness in his right oblique. After the game, Hicks said he expects to go on the 10-day disabled list and miss the next three to four weeks, MLB.com’s Bryan Hoch reports.
Hicks was 1-for-2 with a single before departing on Sunday. He entered the game batting .288/.397/.515 with 10 home runs and 37 RBI in 198 plate appearances. It is by far the best season of his career.
Jacoby Ellsbury is on his way back from a concussion, so the Yankees will only have to bridge the gap in center field for a week or two. Mason Williams could draw some starts in center field in the meantime.
Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe reports that the Phillies are making third baseman Maikel Franco “more than available” in trade discussions.
Franco, 24, is having an abysmal season after showing promise in 2015 and ’16. Through 289 plate appearances, he’s hitting .221/.280/.365 with nine home runs and 37 RBI. His hitting has tanked and his already below-average defense hasn’t shown any improvement.
It’s a bit surprising that the Phillies would be so eager to move Franco with his value about as low as it can go. Franco is also under control of the rebuilding Phillies through the 2021 season, so the team doesn’t have to rush into moving him. He will become eligible for arbitration for the first time after the season.
Furthermore, the Phillies don’t have an immediate replacement for Franco at third base. Andres Blanco would likely get everyday starts at the hot corner in the short-term, but as far as prospects go, there are no third baseman banging down the door. If the Phillies were to trade Franco, it would likely have to be in return for a young, talented third baseman who will be under team control for several more years.