Even though Francisco Rodriguez has his share of problems, it was still a bit striking just how cheap he came to the Brewers. Not only does it appear the Brewers won’t be dealing any of their “top prospects” for him, but the Mets also threw in a large majority of his 2011 salary.
A new article in the New York Times from David Waldstein explains just how this is all possible:
Rodriguez hired Scott Boras to represent him this month, which for the Mets was a signal to trade Rodriguez as soon as possible before any constraints arose. Once the deal was made late Tuesday night, the Mets could more realistically think about re-signing Reyes, who can be a free agent after the season.
The contract Rodriguez signed with the Mets before the 2009 season includes a limited no-trade clause, meaning he could list 10 teams to which he could veto a deal. But according to two baseball officials with direct knowledge of the situation, Rodriguez’s previous agent, Paul Kinzer, never submitted the list of 10 teams.
The Mets thought that once Boras assumed representation, he would scrutinize Rodriguez’s contract and either try to submit a list or perhaps file a grievance that might allow him to do so.
The Mets so desperately needed to dump Rodriguez’s contract — specifically, any chance he would end up vesting his 2012 option, effectively worth $14 million (the $17.5 million total salary less the $3.5 million buyout) that they decided to move quickly before Rodriguez and Boras could gain any leverage. It looks like the Brewers were the benefactors of Rodriguez’s previous agent’s incompetence, and it could just be a big part of a division title. Sometimes, you just can’t predict baseball.