The Milwaukee Brewers made a big move by trading for K-Rod and sent a clear message to the rest of MLB. I think this is a good move!
MILWAUKEE — Prince Fielder had barely hoisted his All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award when the Brewers and Mets reminded the baseball world that it was time to get back to business.
Milwaukee traded for right-hander Francisco Rodriguez and cash late Tuesday, agreeing to send the Mets two players to be named. It’s another “win now” move by Doug Melvin, the veteran general manager who has made a series of surprising deals in the past seven months to bolster the Brewers’ pitching.
“As a player, you appreciate it, because you’re going out there every day, and you’re wanting to win,” said Fielder, whose three-run home run was the difference in the National League’s 5-1 All-Star Game victory. “When management does things like that, you appreciate it, because you see that they’re going for it with you every day, too.”
Rodriguez, 29, holds the single-season saves record (62 for the Angels in 2008) and was 23-for-26 for the Mets with a 3.16 ERA in the first half of 2011. He has 291 career saves to Axford’s 48.
Rodriguez’s current contract includes a $17.5 million option for 2012 that vests if the right-hander finishes 55 games, and he’s already finished 34 games this year for the Mets. If he falls short of that total, the Brewers can buy out the option for $3.5 million.
It was not immediately clear how much cash was involved in Tuesday’s trade. It was a significant enough amount that the Commissioner’s Office signed off on the deal, Melvin said.
Rodriguez, who is earning $11.5 million this season in the final guaranteed year of a three-year, $37 million contract, had a limited no-trade clause. But the list of teams to which he could block a trade did not include the Brewers.
Just like the December deals for Greinke and Marcum, it indicated that the Brewers are aiming for success this season, before Fielder reaches free agency.
“I think we got that message this past offseason,” All-Star second baseman Rickie Weeks said. “The biggest thing was just adding some pieces here and there. He’s a great arm out of the bullpen. Obviously, that’s only going to help us out.”
“The timing was right,” Melvin said. “I could have waited, tried to acquire some other guys. But if we had waited, I’m not sure if we would have been able to get the other guys.”