Posted on: June 13, 2009 8:27 pm
NEW YORK -- In this mini war of words between Brian Bruney and Francisco Rodriguez, the Mets closer is coming out on top.
No surprise there.
K-Rod may well be the best closer in the game. Bruney would be given a chance to pitch the eighth inning for the Yankees, if he can get himself healthy.
Since the start of 2006, K-Rod has 165 saves. Bruney has one.
Anyway, Bruney spent some time Saturday ripping Rodriguez for the way he celebrates saves, calling it a "tired act." And then K-Rod responded.
"I don't know who he is," Rodriguez said after the Mets' 6-2 win over the Yankees. "He hasn't pitched a whole season and has always been on the DL, that's all I know. If it was somebody big, I might pay attention, but somebody like that, it doesn't bother me. If that message comes out from somebody big like Mariano [Rivera], somebody who is big and is good at what he does, I'd respect it."
Good point. And Bruney more or less agreed.
"He set the [single-season] save record, so it doesn’t matter what I think," he told reporters.
On that point, Bruney was exactly right.
Posted on: December 8, 2008 10:00 pm
Edited on: December 9, 2008 4:18 pm
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.
Posted on: November 25, 2008 3:34 pm
While the Mets wouldn't mind adding a hitter in this free-agent season, people familiar with their plans said that pitching has to come first. The Mets need a closer, and they also need at least one starter, and they believe there's a good chance they'll use up all their money filling those needs.
Mets people agreed that Derek Lowe would be their preferred starter, because they believe that CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett would cost too much, and Ben Sheets' health scares them. But with the chance that Lowe's price will be close to that of Burnett, the Mets may have to move on to other options.
"Don't discount Oliver Perez," said one person who has spoken with the Mets decision-makers. "And I wouldn't even count Pedro (Martinez) out, although it would only happen if he would take a lower guarantee and then some incentives."
Many people around the game still expect the Mets to sign Francisco Rodriguez as their new closer. The Mets have more money than any of the other teams seeking a closer, and Rodriguez is still the biggest target on the market.
"(Mets GM Omar Minaya) likes to make a splash," said one person who knows Minaya well. "K-Rod would do it for him."
Posted on: November 12, 2008 10:20 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2008 10:23 pm
More and more, it looks like Francisco Rodriguez is on his way out of Anaheim.
And, maybe, on his way to New York.
As my colleague Scott Miller wrote earlier today, the Angels have put Mark Teixeira and CC Sabathia ahead of K-Rod on their list of free-agent priorities. So far ahead, it turns out, that K-Rod is barely even on the list anymore.
"As a whole, we're probably turning the page on this one," Angels owner Arte Moreno said today on his Los Angeles radio station, KLAA, when asked about Rodriguez. "I'm not one of these never, never people, but I'm just saying I think as a whole it's important for us to turn the page and move forward."
In the same interview, Moreno suggests that the Angels could pursue Manny Ramirez, if they don't keep Teixeira.
(The entire interview can be heard here.)
If the Angels do indeed turn the page, where would that leave Rodriguez?
Very possibly, with the Mets.
The Mets are determined to fix their bullpen, but they shied away from Rodriguez after his agent told SI.com last month that the bidding would start at five years and $75 million. Kinzer has since backed away from those comments, and when he did Mets officials started telling people that they're back in on K-Rod.
The Mets could be well-positioned to get him, too, because the other teams in need of a closer this winter (Tigers, Indians, Rays) are very unlikely to spend anything close to $15 million per year. The Mets could end up going that high, although not for the five years that Kinzer was originally demanding.
Moreno said the Angels made six different offers to Rodriguez over the last year or so. It's believed that they went up to about $42 million for three years, and that Rodriguez told them that wasn't enough.
Posted on: September 30, 2008 1:36 pm
The great thing about awards is that you can argue about who deserves them. And the great thing about the 2008 awards for me is that for the first time in almost 20 years, I don't have an actual vote on any of them.
That means I'm completely free to tell you what I think, and you're completely free to totally ignore it.
And as much as I respect Scott Miller, I'm also completely prepared to tell him where he's wrong.
You can read Scott's picks for the postseason awards here, if you haven't already.
To save time and avoid repetition, I'll just say I agree completely with Scott on the AL Cy Young award (Cliff Lee), and on both managers of the year (Joe Maddon, Lou Piniella). I agree with him on both rookies of the year (Evan Longoria, Geovany Soto), although the AL decision is a tough one, with Longoria getting just a small edge over Alexei Ramirez.
No argument on executives of the year, either (Andrew Friedman and Doug Melvin).
Of course, those were the easy picks.
The MVPs were the tough ones. Too many candidates in the National League, not nearly enough in the AL.
But think about who had the most effect on this season. What will you remember about 2008?
In the NL, you'll remember how Manny Ramirez changed the Dodgers into winners, and how CC Sabathia did the same for the Brewers. You'll remember all those Ryan Howard home runs that put the Phillies over the top in the East. I'd put all three of them of them ahead of Albert Pujols, who had a very nice season but only turned the Cardinals into fringe wild-card contenders. The MVP: Manny.
In the AL, Dustin Pedroia is a nice pick. But it's the wrong pick, because Francisco Rodriguez's 62 saves made the difference this year. Sure the Angels won by about 50 games, but if you don't think a closer can be valuable, ask all those teams that are sitting home in October primarily because they didn't have one. The MVP: K-Rod.
That leaves the NL Cy Young. I admire what Tim Lincecum did. I love Sabathia. But Johan Santana didn't lose after June, and he nearly pulled a flawed Mets team into the playoffs. Yes, I know that Sabathia DID pull his team into the playoffs, but I'll give the edge to the guy who was there all year. The Cy Young: Johan.
Tags: Albert Pujols, Alexei Ramirez, Andrew Friedman, Angels, Brewers, Cardinals, CC Sabathia, Cliff Lee, Dodgers, Doug Melvin, Dustin Pedroia, Evan Longoria, Francisco Rodriguez, Geovany Soto, Joe Maddon, Johan Santana, Lou Piniella, Manny Ramirez, Mets, Phillies, Ryan Howard, Scott Miller, Tim Lincecum