LAS VEGAS -- The Mets always seemed destined to end up with Francisco Rodriguez, and now they will.
Rodriguez has agreed to a three-year, $37 million contract, uniting the record-setting closer with the team most in need of bullpen help. The Mets had initially offered Rodriguez two guaranteed years with an option, but they guaranteed the third year late on Monday and that got the deal done.
The Mets still aren't acknowledging the agreement and may not announce it for a few days, but sources told CBSSports.com that the deal is done.
The Mets, whose awful bullpen basically kept them from holding off the Phillies in the National League East (and the Brewers in the wild card), naturally prioritized adding a top closer this winter. Rodriguez, who set a major-league record with 62 saves for the Angels, was always their top choice.
The Mets always had to be Rodriguez's top option, too, at least after the Angels made it clear that they had little interest in re-signing him. The Mets were the only big-money team in need of a closer, and while they weren't willing to provide Rodriguez with the five-year, $75 million deal he originally sought, they had much more to offer than anyone else in the market for bullpen help.
With Rodriguez now off the market, and with the Mets no longer needing a closer, it will be interesting to see what happens to the pitchers and the teams that are left.
The Tigers and Indians are both looking for closers, but neither team has much money to spend. The Indians probably have a little more than the Tigers, but the Indians also have more remaining needs, and aren't anxious to spend all their available money on the bullpen.
The Indians have some interest in Trevor Hoffman, and may want to see if Brian Fuentes falls into their price range. The Tigers have shown some interest in either signing Kerry Wood or trading for Seattle's J.J. Putz, but they too may want to see what happens with Fuentes. The Tigers may try to free up a little bit of money by trading outfielder Marcus Thames.
The Brewers also need a closer, but they've been waiting to see if there's any chance they can retain CC Sabathia. The Cardinals also could be looking.
Some people have wondered whether the Dodgers would look for a closer, but sources familiar with their plans say they're more focused on acquiring a setup man.