Saturday, May 14, 2011

Can Krod's Success Force The Mets To Retain Him?

Photo Courtesy Of Michael Baron
With the trade deadline nearing and his performance improving, Francisco Rodriguez is going to force Sandy Alderson into a very tough decision. The Mets have a lot of holes, and it would seem that they will not have the financial where with all to fills their holes via free agency next winter, the organization may have to use his best trade chips to accomplish these goals.

As most everyone knows, should Francisco Rodriguez finish 55 games or more this season, he is in line to make $17.5 million next year. For those keeping track, that will be more than Mariano Rivera, who is widely regarded as the best closer to ever pick up a baseball, has ever made in a single season. Therefore, the Mets or whoever acquires Rodriguez via trade, may certainly be overpaying for his services in the not so distant future.

With the Mets looking to skim payroll, the urge to rid themselves of this risk may be enough for Alderson to pull the trigger, as the organization would certainly acquire legitimate talent in return. However, I find myself in the minority in the hope that the Mets retain Rodriguez whatever that may cost.

So far this season, Rodriguez has converted 11 of 12 save opportunities in the process of completing 14 games. At this point in time, he is on pace to finish 60 games this season, thus tripping that expensive option discussed above. Rodriguez has been increasingly effectiveness as the season has progressed, having not allowed a run in 14 IP.

Looking back, Rodriguez had a very successful 2010 campaign prior to the events that led to him breaking his hand. This season has seen him continue that level of success. At only 29 years of age, there is really no reason to think that he cannot continue to be effective, having seen closers such has Trevor Hoffman and Mariano Rivera seemingly pitch forever.

While retaining Francisco Rodriguez may not be a priority of the organization moving forward, the role of closer is not an easy roll to fill on any team. This job is increasingly difficult in the New York market. Rodriguez, despite his troubles off the field, has had significant success here. If possible, as Ed Ryan previously discussed HERE, Sandy Alderson could look to extend Rodriguez's contract in order to spread some of that money out or his may simply trade him away.

I for one would like to see Rodriguez stick around.  I realize that his contract extension is excessively expensive, and I know that he has had problems off the field, but he is still one of the better closers in baseball.  There are only so many good players at the position, and with the state of the team's bullpen, its foolish to think that Alderson can simply plug someone else in.  This, along with so many other decisions are nearing for Sandy & Co.  Crunch time is just around the corner...

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