K-Rod considering lawsuit against former agents | Disciples of Uecker

Disciples of Uecker

We'd like to go to the Playoffs, that would be cool.

It’s been an eventful couple days for Brewers set-up man Francisco Rodriguez.

First, Rodriguez made minor headlines on Saturday when it was reported that he would be late to report to spring training. Pitchers and catchers were supposed to report by Saturday, but K-Rod won’t be joining the team until the middle of this week. It appears to be a family matter keeping him from camp, and the team doesn’t seem too worried about the situation.

The story that will probably get more headlines, though, is the one that came out Sunday night: according to USA Today, Rodriguez is considering filing a malpractice or fraud lawsuit against former agents Paul Kinzer and Arn Tellem.

Here’s the gist of the situation: Rodriguez’s lawyer, Richard Johnson, says the reliever is (still) irate that Kinzer and Tellem failed to file the proper paperwork needed to validate Rodriguez’s 10-team no-trade list. The Brewers were among the 10 teams K-Rod listed, but since the paperwork was never filed, the Mets were able to trade him to Milwaukee last July. Once he realized the no-trade list was not valid, K-Rod fired Kinzer and Tellem. Rodriguez claims that the two did irreparable harm to his career and potential earnings. The attorney for those two disputes the claim that the legal tussle is over the no-trade provision, saying it’s instead a fee-related matter.

Rodriguez is assuring everyone that he isn’t mad at the Brewers for the situation, but it remains pretty clear that he wasn’t happy with the way things went down. Apparently, though, he wasn’t unhappy enough to turn down the Brewers’ offer of arbitration when he couldn’t find a decent multiyear offer to close on the free agent market. If you forgot, he’ll be making $8 million this year after he settled to avoid what could have been an ugly arbitration hearing.

While everyone remains focused on the Ryan Braun saga, the other big potential distraction looming over the team is Rodriguez and his happiness (or lack thereof) in a set-up role. If the Brewers fall out of contention by the trade deadline, it wouldn’t be a total shock to see a trade to a contender in need of a “proven closer.”

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Tell us what do you think.

  1. Brandon Tsoumas says: February 20, 2012

    Makes sense for K-Rod to do this. It’s pretty much free money for him if he wins and it does sound like he has some legal leverage against his old agents. As for being a distraction to the team, he forfeited his right to complain about not saving games the second he accepted our arbitration offer. Hopefully he’s smart enough to realize this and won’t cause any problems in 2012

  2. Rob says: February 21, 2012

    I agree with Brandon. It is good that he is placing blame where it belongs, and not with the Brewers’ organization. Melvin made a good deal to pick him up last season, but misjudged the market and he ended up accepting arbitration. Hopefully something good comes out of the situation and the K-Rod/Axford combination realizes the same success as last season. I think he understands that being a distraction is going to have an adverse effect on whether or not a team will offer him what he wants in the future.

    • Jeff says: February 22, 2012

      Great comments all. I was driving home from work when I heard the news that K-Rod had accepted arbitration. My head fell in disbelief. This team will be good but they don’t need any distractions, even an overpriced and so times emotional distraction could be bad. I am sort of glad he is back but not with the baggage nor the price tag.

      • Nicholas Zettel says: February 22, 2012

        The pricetag is a bargain — K-Rod would probably receive $4-$6 million more had he pushed arbitration. He compares favorably to the elite closing deals, and already is the top active closer behind Rivera.

        It’s a good thing he’s going after his agent — they cost him a lot of money by failing to file that no-trade clause. If the Mets can’t trade K-Rod, he’s making more than $15 million this year, and he’s in-line for a $40-$50 million closer’s deal after 2012.

        Now, he’s a set-up man. Thankfully, he’s with the Brewers!

  3. Philboyd says: February 22, 2012

    K Rod at only 8 million? didn’t Gagne cost $10 mil a few years ago? Seems like a bargain.


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