Tigers find their closer, acquire Francisco Rodriguez from Brewers


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.

Andrew McCutchen ‘ready to go’ whenever season begins

Andrew McCutchen
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Phillies outfielder Andrew McCutchen would have opened the regular season on the injured list if it had started on time. Now, with the start of the season pushed back at least a few months due to coronavirus (COVID-19), the veteran five-time All-Star says he will be “ready to go” whenever the season begins, he told NBC Sports Philadelphia.

McCutchen, 33, tore his ACL in early June, ending his 2019 campaign. To that point, he had been quite productive for the Phillies, batting .256/.378/.457 with 10 home runs and 29 RBI over 262 plate appearances. If and when the 2020 season does begin, he will likely reprise his role as the leadoff hitter, this time under new manager Joe Girardi.

2020 marks the second year of McCutchen’s three-year, $50 million contract initially signed with the Phillies in December 2018. The Phillies also hold a $15 million club option for the 2022 season with a $3 million buyout.