K-Rod reportedly accepting arbitration; Brewers screwed
The Brewers offered set-up man and former closer Francisco Rodriguez arbitration with the expectation that he would decline. He voiced displeasure last season about only being used in the set-up role and was known to be hoping to return to the closer's role on another team, since the Brewers are set at that position with John Axford.
The decision to offer arbitration was considered a slightly risky one, but one that would have high-rewards. Under the new CBA, the Brewers would receive a draft pick in the same round and immediately before the pick the team that signed Rodriguez would have forfeited. The Brewers also would receive a supplemental pick at the end of the first round.
But hey, we don't have to worry about those semantics because it's being reported that K-Rod is going to accept arbitration. Of course, shortly thereafter it came out that no decision had been made. So who knows what to believe.
K-Rod and his agent Scott Boras have til 11 pm CT to make the decision.
Basically, the closer's market was flooded and then folded and he was looking at having to accept a small, small contract to be on a team next season. Instead, with the Brewers and heading to an arbitration hearing, he'll be making something upwards of $15 million next year. (He was paid $13.5 million this year.)
The only hope for the Brewers here is that the contract is non-guaranteed.
Apparently the Brewers could be on the hook for just $2.5 million for Rodriguez and could cut him. The idea is that they'd cut their losses, eat a bit of salary, but not be out the extra $12.5 million or more.
It's not that we don't like K-Rod, but the amount of money for his contract is basically the money the Brewers were going to spend on the free agent market. Committing that to K-Rod means that we're looking at Taylor Green/Casey McGehee at third base and Yuniesky Betancourt at shortstop.
You'll remember that K-Rod took to the media late in the season complaining about how he never got a chance to close with the Brewers last season. He said he was told when he was acquired that he'd get a shot and he never did. Many people were enraged that K-Rod would rock the boat during a playoff run, but I defended it saying people were blowing it out of proportion and that K-Rod was just trying to cover his butt during his impending free agency so that he would still be considered a viable (and expensive) closer.
Now, I'm just really annoyed with him.
Obviously the Brewers will try to trade K-Rod if he does end up on their roster - but they're going to eat money no matter what. The issue now is to try and get something in return. If he accepts arby, the Brewers do not get the compensation picks.
If a team really wanted K-Rod, they would have gone after him in the FA market. So the Brewers will have to lower expectation and eat some salary to get K-Rod off their hands.
EDIT: According to J-S Brewers beat writer Tom Haudricourt, K-Rod accepted.