Boston Red Sox Top-5 bullpen trade targets
Sep 10, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez (57) pitches against the Pittsburgh Pirates during the twelfth inning at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
2015 Stats: 38 saves, 2.21 ERA, 0.86 WHIP, 9.79 K/9
The 33-year old veteran has bounced around a lot over the last few years and is now making his second stint with the Milwaukee Brewers. Since the Brew Crew isn’t ready to contend yet in a highly competitive NL Central division, they may be inclined to listen to offers on Rodriguez, who enters the final guaranteed year of his contract.
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Rodriguez was 7th in the majors in saves this season, bringing his career total to 386. The Red Sox won’t find another option with his experience as a closer. He’s the type of power arm this bullpen needs, with a career 10.76 K/9 rate. He also offers good control, having only walked 11 batters all year and posting a 5.64 K/BB ratio that was one of the league’s best among relievers.
Rodriguez’s last stop in the AL East didn’t go so well, as he posted a 4.50 ERA in half a season with the Baltimore Orioles before returning to Milwaukee the following season. That 22 inning sample is hardly indicative of his talent and he has previous success in the AL, having spent the first 7 years of his career with the Los Angeles Angels.
The $5.5 million that Rodriguez is owed for 2016 is a relative bargain for a closer of his caliber. If he works out here in Boston then they’ll have the opportunity to bring him back for another year on a $6 million team option. If he flounders back in the AL East, they can cut bait with a $4 million buyout or attempt to trade him to recoup some of the value they will have to surrender to get him in the first place.