Over the last few weeks, the Mets have bid on Grant Balfour and fallen short, and have been linked to free agent reliever Fernando Rodney. If what the Mets are looking for is a veteran reliever who can be a back end of the bullpen guy, there’s someone else they should consider: Francisco Rodriguez.
Yes, Rodriguez was involved in an ugly incident at Citi Field with the father of his girlfriend toward the end of his tenure with the Mets.
Aside from the incident being a bit overblown, it’s also something that shouldn’t preclude the Mets from entertaining a reunion.
The Mets are putting together a baseball team, not hiring altar boys, and Rodriguez is someone who’s relatively young, still productive, and likely inexpensive.
Rodriguez, who turned 32 last month, split the 2013 campaign between Milwaukee and Baltimore.
Between the two clubs, he posted an ERA of 2.70 to go along with a 1.20 WHIP. In 46.2 innings pitched, he allowed 42 hits, walked 14, and struck out 54 (a rate of 10.4 per 9, his best since 2010).
For Rodriguez, who made a base salary of just $2 million last season, the stuff is still there – he’s lost just a tick off his fastball, and his changeup and curve both remain legitimate options for him.
It’s understandable that the Mets would be a bit apprehensive regarding a potential reunion with Rodriguez, but he’s pretty much exactly what this team is looking for: a relatively inexpensive reliever who can pitch in the back end of the bullpen but who won’t demand the role of closer.
There hasn’t been much noise about Rodriguez and potential suitors. The Mets should give him a call and see if they can snatch him up.