Brewers calling up Francisco Rodriguez

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Today’s the day Francisco Rodriguez can opt out of his minor-league contract with the Brewers if they haven’t called him up and Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that K-Rod is on the way back to the majors.

Rodriguez’s deal pays him $2 million for cracking the Brewers’ roster, so they clearly feel he can help in a setup role. And he was plenty useful last season, throwing 72 innings with a 4.38 ERA and 72/31 K/BB ratio.

Rodriguez made a total of four appearances between Single-A and Triple-A, throwing four scoreless innings with seven strikeouts and three walks. And given how the Brewers’ late-inning situation has been influx it’s not totally inconceivable that he could be in line for some saves at some point.

Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto reportedly asks to be traded

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Craig Mish of MLB Network Radio is reporting that Marlins catcher J.T. Realmuto has requested a trade out of Miami. Jon Heyman is characterizing it as Realmuto telling the team that he “wouldn’t mind” a trade.

Either way, Realmuto has no power to force a trade. This isn’t the NBA or something. Still, it’s evidence of just how dreary a prospect remaining in Miami is for Marlins veterans in the wake of trades that sent Giancarlo Stanton to New York, Marcell Ozuna to St. Louis.

Realmuto, who will turn 27 just before the 2018 season, hit .278/.332/.451 with 17 homers, 65 RBI, and eight steals over 141 games this past season. He only has three years of service time and is arbitration eligible for the first time this offseason. He made just $562K in the 2017 and will get a big raise this year, but he’s still going to be underpaid based on his production. If the Marlins wanted to trade him, they’d get a nice return. Why they would want to trade him, I have no idea.

Expect more of this sort of thing as the Marlins slash payroll and make it clear that their immediate priorities are more about saving money and less about winning baseball games. Which may or may not be a valid goal for the team’s new owners, but is certainly a letdown for baseball players and fans.