Detroit has been searching for a veteran closer and finally found their man, as Venezuelan reporter Augusto Cardenas writes that the Tigers have acquired Francisco Rodriguez from the Brewers in exchange for minor leaguer Javier Betancourt.
This marks the second time the Brewers have traded Rodriguez, who was previously sent to the Orioles for minor leaguer Nick Delmonico in mid-2013 and then re-signed with Milwaukee as a free agent that offseason.
He saved 44 games in 2014 and 38 games this year, logging a total of 125 innings with a 2.66 ERA and 135/29 K/BB ratio between the two seasons. Rodriguez is no longer the flame-throwing phenom from his early Angels days, but at age 34 he remains a high-end reliever and has never struck out fewer than a batter per inning in any season.
Betancourt is a 21-year-old second baseman who spent this year at high Single-A hitting .263 with three homers and a .640 OPS in 122 games. He had similarly underwhelming numbers last season at low Single-A and is not considered a top prospect.
Rodriguez is signed for $7.5 million in 2016 and his contract includes a $6 million team option or $2 million buyout for 2017, so the Tigers are hoping he’ll be a two-year fix for their perpetually shaky bullpen.
Yesterday’s news about the arrest of Pirates closer Felipe Vázquez was pretty disturbing. Today’s update from Jeff Passan of ESPN is even worse.
Vázquez has been charged with solicitation of a child and providing obscene material to minors, and yesterday’s report said that he texted a 15-year-old girl that he would meet up with her after the season for sex. According to police, however, Vázquez had already met with a minor in an attempt to have sex. When she was 13:
Yesterday Vázquez’s attorney, Jay Reisinger, issued a statement saying “We are in the process of reviewing both the Pennsylvania and Florida charging documents, as well as the underlying facts of the matter. At this time, any comment would be premature.”
The Pennsylvania charges referenced involve an alleged statutory sexual assault of a victim who is at least 16 years old by a person who is at least 11 years older than the victim; unlawful contact with a minor; corruption of a minor by a defendant who is 18 years old or older; and indecent assault of a person less than 16 years old. The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported last night that the offenses allegedly occurred on Aug. 1, 2018.
Vázquez is still in Pennsylvania, where he was arrested, and is awaiting extradition to Florida. He was denied bail and was characterized by the arraigning judge as a flight risk. Likely because he is a native and citizen of a foreign country with substantial financial resources.
UPDATE: I had missed this previously, but the Pirates issued a statement about all of this yesterday afternoon: