K-Rod waives his giant option; will be a free agent after the season

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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.

Twins to retire Joe Mauer’s No. 7

AP Photo/Jim Mone
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Twins senior director of communications Dustin Morse announced that the Twins will honor former C/1B Joe Mauer by retiring his uniform number 7. Mauer announced his retirement from baseball on November 9.

Mauer will join Harmon Killebrew (No. 3), Tony Oliva (No. 6), Tom Kelly (No. 10), Kent Hrbek (No. 14), Rod Carew (No. 29), Kirby Pucket (No. 34), and Bert Blyleven (No. 28) as Twins to have their numbers retired.

Mauer, 35, spent 15 seasons in the majors, all with the Twins. He posted a career .306/.388/.439 triple-slash line with 143 home runs and 923 RBI. He won the AL MVP Award in 2009, won the batting title three times, earned three Gold Gloves and five Silver Sluggers, and made the AL All-Star team six times. Sadly, his career was limited due to injuries, including a concussion that caused him to move from catcher to first base.

Five years from now, Mauer will appear on the Hall of Fame ballot. There will certainly be some arguments for and against his candidacy. He retired with 55.1 career Wins Above Replacement, according to Baseball Reference, which definitely puts him in the conversation. But, as always, there’s never a consensus.