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Francisco Rodriguez owns 304 career saves.
Four days ago, Jim Bowden of ESPN.com Insider (subscription needed) reported that the Colorado Rockies would dangle closer Rafael Betancourt at the trade deadline.
However, the right-handed reliever went back on the disabled list after already missing a month, this time with appendicitis.
With Betancourt likely off the block, teams in need of a closer will have to knock on the door elsewhere.
The availabilities of stoppers like Jonathan Papelbon, Bobby Parnell, Addison Reed, Glen Perkins and Huston Street have all been discussed, but no late-inning reliever will be more available than Milwaukee Brewers closer Francisco Rodriguez.
The Brewers inked Rodriguez to a minor league deal on April 17 and stashed the former closing great at Triple-A. Nobody expected Rodriguez to close in 2013 as incumbent John Axford and setup man Jim Henderson were far above him on the saves depth chart.
However, due to Axford’s ineffectiveness and Henderson’s subsequent hamstring injury, the 31-year-old found himself back in the spotlight.
Rodriguez has embraced his old role, posting a 1.14 ERA, 1.01 WHIP, 3.25 K/BB and 10 saves. The right-hander’s final salary figure is based on games finished, but his total 2013 pay would be capped as a mere $2.5 million.
Papelbon, by comparison, will earn another $5 million-plus this year as well as an additional $26 million through 2015.
According to Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com, a variety of teams have been heavily scouting K-Rod. Given the Brewers' pathetic 2013 season, the team is expected to pawn off all of its spare parts, especially K-Rod.
Potential Destination(s): Detroit Tigers, Boston Red Sox, Baltimore Orioles, Los Angeles Dodgers, St. Louis Cardinals