Blame Sandy for K-Rod’s New Deal?

An article by posted on July 16, 2011

The most frustrating part about being a Mets fan lately is that every single decision seems to draw a line in the sand. You’re either with Sandy, or against him.

Moves that would have seemed meaningless or worth the gamble such as signing Chris Young to a small contract are seen as reasons to complain about Alderson’s tactics.

The Mets have to cut a high priced 2B, and because of that they have no real starting 2B. So they draft Brad Emaus in the Rule 5 draft. A pick many people liked because Emaus seemed to be ready to play in the big leagues. He wasn’t, they let him go. That’s how the Rule 5 draft is supposed to work you know. Alderson gets crushed for that Rule 5 pick, but somehow the other Rule 5 pick, Pedro Beato goes unnoticed by the same people?

I don’t know Sandy Alderson. He’s never come over for a holiday brunch, he’s never held my baby and he’s never leant me money. I don’t have a bias towards him, I have a bias towards digging out of a giant hole that a GM I liked created. I have a bias towards making smart baseball decisions, rather than trying to please everybody and throw money around like it doesn’t matter.

Yesterday, Ken Rosenthal reported that the Milwaukee Brewers and Francisco Rodriguez agreed to turn his vesting option which would guarantee him $17.5million into a mutual option with a $4million buyout.

The second this came out, I knew the sharks would come out.

And they did.

You can try to blame Sandy Alderson for this move. It’s your right. However, that doesn’t mean you’re correct. First of all, remember who signed Rodriguez. Remember who guaranteed a closer more money than any other closer in the game.

Second, try and take off your “I hate Sandy,” glasses and look at this logically.

#1 If Francisco Rodriguez were not traded by the Mets, he would have earned that vested option. The Mets could not avoid him in save situations because it would have been obvious it was an attempt to void the contract. The last thing the Mets need is a grievance from the players union. Don’t forget, they had a lengthy negotiation with the union about Rodriguez just this past off-season.

#2 If his option was going to be guaranteed, why in the world would K-Rod and Boras go to Sandy Alderson and say “we will waive the $17.5million if you pay us $4million.” Why would they? In all of this, “Sandy failed,” insanity, nobody has said why Rodriguez would do that?

He did this with Milwaukee because he was traded to a place that has a guy closing games effectively. The Brewers could have easily kept Rodriguez out of those save situations, had no grievance from the union, and watched K-Rod’s leave after hopefully helping them to the playoffs.

#3 Francisco Rodriguez’s best chance for a contract past 1 year is if he goes into the market proving he can close all year, proving he can close in a playoff race and proving he’s healthy. He’s more valuable as a closer at 29 than 30. Boras knew this, and Boras wanted him to hit the market. If K-Rod hit the market having served as an 8th inning guy for the final 3 months, his value drops. 8th inning guys don’t make as much as 9th inning guys.

#4 Lastly, on Thursday we saw numerous reports that *IF* the Mets were to have received a 10-team list from Rodriguez or Boras, that Milwaukee would have been on it. Think about that for a second. The Mets spoke to several teams as we’ve heard, and they went with a team they expected Rodriguez to block a deal had they waited any longer. You understand this likely means that A) the Brewers offered the best deal and B) Alderson did what was best for the organization, don’t you?

When it comes to Francisco Rodriguez, everybody won in the deal. Why is that so bad? Nobody  who supports the move is trying to convince anybody that the Brewers messed up. They got a legitimate closer for a legitimate playoff run.

The Mets got rid of that closer whom they would have had to pay $17.5million for which is more than their entire current starting staff, plus their catcher, plus their center fielder and plus Ike Davis. Sure, we don’t know what the Mets plan to do with that savings and you can speculate, but you can’t tell me it doesn’t help the future of this organization to not spend it on 1 player. Even if they invest it all in the minor leagues or scouting, the team is better off.

Lastly, Francisco Rodriguez and Scott Boras get what they want. Rodriguez gets to remain a closer, gets to not worry about a vesting option which would have likely stopped him from closing games down the stretch. Boras gets his client on the open market after this year, and in his case, hopefully after closing games for a playoff team thus making him more valuable.

Plus the Mets got 2 players, and sure we have no idea who they are, but they still got them. The only loser in this entire deal is former agent Paul Kinzer and maybe John Axford.

At the end of the day, this day worked for everybody and to try and verbally assault the Mets for this move is downright ludicrous (ludicrous speed! Go!).

 

About the Author ()

Michael Branda grew up a Mets fan watching the mid 1980's teams and his favorite Met of all-time is (and was) Wally Backman. When it comes to sabermetrics versus old school thinking, he's in the middle and believes adopting new ways to get answers is helpful, especially when the old way has not produced results.

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