Most of us know that Rodriguez will be owed $17.5 million for 2012 if he finishes 55 games for the Mets this season. Now, the consensus is that he will be dealt, long before that happens, courtesy of ownership.
However, I will make a case for why he could stay.
Should the Mets be in contention for a playoff spot late in the season, K-Rod will be just as important as any other part to this unit. After all, he is the only one in this bullpen that you at least know what you are getting.
When I look around at the rest of this bullpen, it looks like Halloween in the month of April.
Rodriguez finished more than 55 games for five straight seasons, from 2005 to 2009, until his crash and burn last year, where he finished 46. So, from a statistical point of view, there is no reason why he won't reach that mark this season.
It's just a matter of which team he is on. Unless the Mets are completely out of the playoff chase, I do not see a scenario where K-Rod doesn't kick in that clause.
Losing Hisanori Takahashi and Pedro Feliciano were devastating to a bullpen that wasn't a lot to write home about to begin with. K-Rod appears to be left out on an island, at least until Bobby Parnell and Jason Isringhausen can prove themselves. You could see Rodriguez come into quite a few tie game scenarios, particularly at home.
Some people will point to the financial mess that the Wilpons are in as to why Rodriguez will not be around at season's end. Even with the incompetence of the Wilpons, I still do not see them able, even if they are willing, to dump K-Rod to the first taker.
Barring a one-way trip to 90 Mets losses, I think he survives the year.
Therefore, Francisco Rodriguez can certainly help the Mets to help themselves, which in turn, will help him, whether it be in a Mets uniform or somewhere else.