Dusty Baker told reporters this afternoon he hadn’t really heard the rumors about the Washington Nationals potentially signing Francisco Rodriguez (aka K-Rod), though he did say he’d actually gotten some calls about the veteran reliever.
“I haven’t heard that,” Baker said. “I got some calls from various people about it. I don’t know.”
He was asked if he thought it would be a good addition if the rumors were true?
“It depends if he’s still K-Rod,” Baker replied.
“That’s what it boils down to. I’ll take Sandy Koufax, but he might not be the same Sandy Koufax, you know what I mean? So, we’ll see.
“I haven’t seen the reports. I got a couple calls.”
FanRag’s Jon Heyman, who was first to report on a potential deal between the 35-year-old reliever and the Nationals this afternoon, has since reported that a deal is done:
Deal now in place between k-rod and nationals. first reported nats were likely landing spot earlier todayhttps://t.co/BYfZu2MNTY— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) June 26, 2017
As expected, FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal reported that Rodriguez, who was released by the Detroit Tigers last month, will report to the minors once everything is sorted out:
K-Rod to minors once deal with #Nationals is done. Team liked K rate, K/BB rate. HR rate clearly alarming. Trying for lightning in bottle.— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 26, 2017
K-Rod put up a 7.82 ERA, a 7.36 FIP, 11 walks (3.91 BB/9) and 23 Ks (8.17 K/9), giving up nine home runs (3.20 HR/9) and posting a .293/.364/.642 line against over 25 1⁄3 IP this season, while saving seven games and blowing six save opportunities. He was replaced at the back end of the Tigers’ bullpen by Justin Wilson last month and then eventually released.
To be clear, it seems Rodriguez, who just last season saved 44 games while posting a 3.24 ERA, 3.83 FIP, 21 walks (3.24 BB/9) and 52 Ks (8.02 K/9) with six home runs allowed (0.93 HR/9) in 58 1⁄3 innings pitched and a .211/.285/.357 line against on the season, is not being viewed as the answer for the Nationals’ bullpen woes, but a low-risk signing that could pay off if he has anything left.