David Waldstein of the NY Times unveils that in the weeks before he was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers, Francisco Rodriguez told the Mets that he wanted to eliminate the now-defunct $17.5 million vesting option in his contract.
Apparently the option had become “a heavy burden” for the K-Rod as well as the Mets. The former Mets closer believed that it was interfering with how the Mets were using him.
According to two people with knowledge of the events, Rodriguez spoke with Manager Terry Collins in the weeks before he was dealt to Milwaukee, a day after not being brought in to close a game in a non-save situation. Rodriguez had warmed up and expected to enter the game. He was upset by the implication that the Mets had not used him that day to avoid his finishing 55 games this season, which would have activated the option. He finished 34 games before being traded to Milwaukee on July 12, and has not finished any games for the Brewers.
Rodriguez told Collins during their discussion that he wanted to get rid of the option, so any decisions on how the Mets used him would be related strictly to baseball.
Waldstein said that Collins referred Rodriguez to Sandy Alderson, but that a deal could not be worked out, but Alderson told other teams that Rodriguez would be willing to forgo the option, making it much easier for the Mets to trade him.
Since K-Rod has been traded, closer duties have fallen to Jason Isringhausen while Bobby Parnell and Pedro Beato have shared the setup role. The latter two have struggled in high pressure situations, while Izzy has risen to the challenge.
Since July 13th, 2011
Bobby Parnell – 15 base-runners, 5 earned runs in 7.2 innings pitched.
Pedro Beato – 10 base-runners, 2 earned runs in 3.2 innings pitched.
Jason Isringhausen – 7 base-runners, 1 earned run in 8.1 innings pitched.
I wouldn’t be surprised if Isringhausen is invited back for the 2012 season.