Francisco Rodriguez is still a free agent. But that hasn’t affected his desire to pitch in a third straight World Baseball Classic for his native Venezuela.
CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reports that “K-Rod” has committed to work out of the bullpen for Team Venezuela in the 2013 WBC and will hope to “use the event as springboard for a new job.” Rodriguez was also on the Venezuelan roster in 2006 and 2009.
The 31-year-old right-hander registered an underwhelming 4.38 ERA and 1.33 WHIP in 78 appearances last season for the Brewers, though he did strike out 72 batters in 72 innings. He should eventually land with a major league team.
In a less-notable move on Friday, the Rays acquired right-hander Wilmer Font from the Athletics in exchange for minor league right-hander Peter Bayer. Font was designated for assignment by the A’s on Wednesday.
This is the second trade involving the righty since the start of the season. The Athletics acquired 28-year-old Font from the Dodgers in late April, but were underwhelmed by his performance after he racked up 11 runs, five home runs, four walks and nine strikeouts in his first 6 2/3 innings of relief. While the rookie has yet to prove himself at the big league level, he posted a much more respectable pitching line with the Dodgers’ Triple-A affiliate in 2017, going 10-8 in 25 starts with a 3.42 ERA, 2.3 BB/9 and 11.9 SO/9 in 134 1/3 innings. It’s still unclear whether the Rays intend to give him another opportunity in the majors this year or use him as depth in the minors.
Bayer, 24, is still a ways away from cracking any major league roster. He advanced to High-A Charlotte prior to the trade and allowed eight runs, two homers, six walks and six strikeouts in his first four innings.