Analyzing The K-Rod Trade


| jpascullo@queenscourier.com |

     Hello again everyone! Look, I KNOW I promised you an in-depth hindsight examination of our 20 questions for the Mets that I devised during spring training. However, a huge trade has gone down as you know by now, the shot heard ’round the world, the first major shot of the Major League Baseball trading deadline (sorry Juan Rivera but, no your deal doesn’t count as major…) We’ll save our 20 questions examination for Sunday, for now let’s explore this trade! The deal has a number of implications surrounding the Mets both on the field this year, as well as off of it come the offseason. So, without any further ado, let’s dive in!

     In the event you haven’t heard by now, not long after the All-Star game ended (a nice win for the NL might I add, way to go!) the Mets dealt closer Francisco "K-Rod" Rodriguez to the Milwaukee Brewers along with cash considerations in exchange for two players who will be named later. Milwaukee gave the Mets a list of prospects to decide from, so Sandy Alderson and crew will take their time to choose, rather than making a hasty decision.

     Let it be known, this was a deal that was going to be made sooner or later. It’s not that K-Rod has been poor this season, far from it. While he wasn’t the elite pitcher he was in the past, Rodriguez wasn’t ineffective either. He recorded 23 out of his 26 save opportunities despite seemingly walking the tightrope every time out (a 1.41 WHIP is not good if you’re the closer) and averaged an awesome 9.7 strikeouts per 9 innings. He rebounded nicely after his personal issues off the field last season, and we can’t sugarcoat that. It wasn’t his performance at all that got him dealt; it was the option at the back end of his contract. K-Rod’s 17.5 million dollar option frightened the hell out of the cash-strapped Metropolitans, an option that had a very good chance of vesting. K-Rod needed 55 games finished, a stat he was well on the way to achieving with 34 games finished through the Mets first 91 games. Sorry, with the Mets already hurting for money and Alderson aiming to lower their payroll in 2013, there was just no way this deal wasn’t happening eventually. We can’t allocate 17.5 million dollars to a solitary reliever. K-Rod is good, but not THAT good. It was only a matter of when.

     So as we say goodbye to the past, let’s take a gander at the future. While we don’t know what prospects we’ll receive from Milwaukee, we shouldn’t get our hopes up too high. Milwaukee’s farm system was completely gutted this past winter by the deals the Brew Crew made to acquire frontend starters Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum. Judging by this list here, the selections are on the slim side, nothing that will make big waves in the Mets system. This was a pure salary dump move, and the Mets in all will save a couple million that they’ll utilize in other areas. I guess every penny counts when you’re the Mets these days, especially with all the pressure the club has on bringing back Jose Reyes for the long run this winter.

     So, what do the Mets lose? They will lose a pedigreed closer in Francisco Rodriguez, but with any luck, hopefully it won’t ruin the team’s chances of competing this year. They’ll simply have to roll the dice with other arms in the bullpen, and the first name that comes to mind is Bobby Parnell. Often hailed the club’s "Closer of the Future" it looks like that will start as soon as the Mets resume their season this Friday against Philadelphia. Parnell is a fireballer, striking out nearly 11 batters per nine innings with a cool 2.92 ERA this season. As long as he locates his stuff and pitches, not throws, he should be all right. We’ll find out come Friday. Another name that’s been brought up has been the name of Jason Isringhausen. He certainly has plenty of experience in the closing department, but if Parnell is the team’s closer of the future, let’s hope he is the one getting the majority of the save opportunities now that the job has been vacated for good.

     All in all, it’s a smart trade on the part of Alderson, and I both understand and like it. How about you guys? Anything to say regarding the first major deal before the 2011 MLB trading deadline? You know what to do, fire away and sound off! And as always, thanks for stopping by my friends!