clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Why the Mets should pursue Francisco Rodriguez

The Mets have had bullpen woes of late. Could that mean we might see a familiar face in the Mets pen soon?

Jerry Lai-USA TODAY Sports

For almost three years, from 2009-2011, Francisco Rodriguez saved 63 games for the Mets and was as solid as you can ask a closer to be. Then halfway through the 2011 season, the Mets traded Rodriguez to the Brewers, who were making a run at the postseason. Well, now the tables have turned and it's time for the Mets to get their former closer back to make a playoff run of their own.

Rodriguez certainly hasn't lost a step since leaving the Mets. Last year, he saved 44 games for the Brewers and thus far in 2015 he is 30-for-30 in save chances. Now, Rodriguez wouldn't be coming here to replace Familia as closer, but adding a dominant bullpen piece like Rodriguez would do wonders for this team and this bullpen. It would allow the Mets to avoid running Tyler Clippard's arm into the ground and would give them a chance to replicate what the Royals did in the 2014 postseason, which was shorten the game with a lethal bullpen in the seventh, eighth, and ninth innings to finish games. Here's what Rodriguez has done since leaving the Mets in 2011:

Year Team Games SV IP K/9 K/BB ERA
2011 MIL 31 0 29.0 10.2 3.30 1.86
2012 MIL 78 3 72.0 9.0 2.32 4.38
2013 MIL 25 10 24.2 9.5 2.89 1.09
2013 BAL 23 0 22.0 11.5 5.60 4.50
2014 MIL 69 44 68.0 9.7 4.06 3.40
2015 MIL 45 30 43.2 10.5 5.67 2.06

Hopefully the Mets and the Brewers don't have any bad blood after the whole Carlos Gomez fiasco from a couple of weeks ago, because this is a move that would instantly shore up what is clearly this team's weakest link right now.

The Mets' bullpen has a 3.16 ERA this season, good for sixth best in baseball. However, once you get past Clippard and Familia there's a very, very big drop-off, and with the underwhelming return of Bobby Parnell (now on the disabled list), the Jenrry Mejia suspension, and the injuries that have ravaged the pen all year, the Mets could use one more arm to help get to their big guns.

The Mets made a move for lefty specialist Eric O'Flaherty who, in his short stint with the Mets so far, has a 13.50 ERA in five appearances. Maybe Sean Gilmartin could slide into that seventh-inning role; he's been fairly consistent for the Mets when nobody was expecting it. But he's not a dominating reliever like Rodriguez, who is owed $5.5 million next year, and have a $6 million club option for 2017 with a $2 million buyout.

If the Mets can overcome the financial barriers—and any remaining animosity towards Rodriguez from that time he assaulted his father-in-law after a game in 2010—a "K-Rod" Mets reunion tour would be not only an interesting piece of nostalgia, but the move this team makes to put them over the top.