I’ve complimented the Milwaukee Brewers numerous times for what they’ve accomplished this offseason. I praised them when they acquired Adam Lind, and I gave them a standing ovation when they unloaded Yovani Gallardo. Despite what many “experts” have written, the Brewers have had a terrific winter…up until now.
After weeks of negotiating, Francisco Rodriguez and the Brewers agreed to a two-year, $13 million contract, a move that just doesn’t make much sense, fiscally or otherwise.
But before I get into why the Brewers didn’t use their best judgment in signing Rodriguez, let me say that inking him was a better alternative that acquiring Jonathan Papelbon. And for what it’s worth, most of you agree with that statement.
This will be Rodriguez’s fourth stint in Milwaukee, and he has continuously fallen off in terms of WAR. He posted a career-low WAR (-0.6) and FIP (4.50), and gave up 14 home runs in 2014. Yet and still, he’s slated to remove Jonathan Broxton from the closer’s role and take over, which is something I don’t understand. Rodriguez and Broxton are similar pitchers and have aged in the same way as well, even though Rodriguez is three years older. They’ve both lost velocity on their fastballs and have seen their strikeout rates take a dip over the last couple of seasons. Milwaukee now has two former lights-out closers who are past their primes. Yay.
The biggest issue I have with with this acquisition is the cost of it. Paying $13 million over two years for a barely above-average 33-year-old closer is like paying $50 for a leftover steak. You’re overpaying for mediocrity. And it’s especially bad when there’s already another perfectly fine steak on your plate.
Adding Rodriguez to the bullpen doesn’t make the Brewers any better in 2015, and certainly won’t make them better in ’16. If anything, it ties them up a little financially, which is sad, considering all the money that’ll be coming off the books.
Up until this point, the Brewers played the offseason perfectly. I didn’t have a problem with anything they did. But signing Rodriguez is a mistake and a move that doesn’t add any value to the team.