First, around 4:15 PM central time, Ken Rosenthal reported, quite vaguely, that the Brewers no longer had to worry about Francisco Rodriguez’s vesting option:
#Brewers can now use K-Rod freely in closer’s role without fear of option vesting. Option is gone. Games finished clause is gone. #MLB
Source: K-Rod vesting option now mutual option that kicks in with same 55 GF. It’s meaningless – he would decline and be FA. MORE #MLB
Buyout increases from $3.5M to $4M. That was the inducement. #Mets paying original buyout, #Brewers the additional amount. #MLB
For the meager price of $500,000, the Brewers have freed themselves from the worry of a $17.5 million dollar vesting option and can now use Francisco Rodriguez at the end of games if they so wish. This could mean Francisco Rodriguez moves into the closer’s role, but not necessarily. Instead, this just gives Ron Roenicke the flexibility to use John Axford or Francisco Rodriguez whenever the situation demands. Now, there doesn’t need to be a worry about an injury to Axford resulting in a $14 million cost, nor having to leave Rodriguez on the bench in a close extra-inning game towards the end of the year because the option is close to vesting. Instead, the Brewers can just decline their half of the option and be on their way next season.
It’s pretty amazing how this whole situation has just fallen into the Brewers lap. First, Rodriguez gets dumped by the Mets almost solely because of a mistake by his previous agent, and now he willingly rids the Brewers of the riskiest part of the acquisition. It’s hard to imagine the early days of the Francisco Rodriguez acquisition going any better for Doug Melvin.