The Brewers acquired Francisco Rodriguez via trade from the New York Mets while you were undoubtedly riveted and on the edge of your seat watching the All-Star Game. The deal involves the Mets sending K-Rod and $5 million bucks to Milwaukee for two minor league players to be named later. The Brewers will likely still rely on John Axford to be their closer.
As has been mentioned throughout the season, there is a clause in Rodriguez’s contract that if he finishes 55 games or more, he is given a $17.5 million option for 2012. If he does not play in 55 games, the Brewers can buyout the option for $3.5 million. K-Rod also had a limited no-trade clause in his contract, but the Brewers were not on that list.
Mets may use closer committee
Between Jason Isringhausen and Bobby Parnell, the New York Mets don’t have a clear-cut option at closer. Pedro Beato has also pitched well this season and could end up the closer in the future. This situation likely won’t be fleshed out until the second half is underway but Parnell is the safer option. Most news sources are speculating he will take over.
As an interesting side note, Isringhausen has 293 career saves, placing him 23rd all-time and fourth among active players.
Putz’ speculative return date set
J.J. Putz threw a simulated bullpen session but is not likely to be ready for the Diamondbacks first series against the Dodgers. Expect him to return to the team on July 18.
Arizona manager Kirk Gibson has confirmed that Putz will be the D-backs closer upon his return. Interim closer, David Hernandez, has converted all five of his save opportunities. Gibson acknowledged that Hernandez has pitched well but added that if Putz needs a day off, Hernandez is a great backup option.
Lidge happy to pitch in any role
Philadelphia Phillies oft-injured closer Brad Lidge has expressed an acceptance to play any role in the bullpen upon his return. He stated “I want to close again [but] … Whatever is the best scenario for our team, I’ll be comfortable doing this year. We’ll see how it plays out.”
Lidge pitched an inning in Double-A on Monday and will pitch again later this week. In his absence, Ryan Madson had been performing very well but now that he too is on the disabled list, Antonio Bastardo is the team’s interim closer. Madson is set to return by Monday, July 18 with Lidge expected to return the following week.
Cordero shaky heading into ASG break
In his last four appearances, Francisco Cordero has allowed four walks, eight hits, and seven earned runs. Three of those appearances were blown saves. His ERA has gone from 1.49 on July 3 up to 2.95.
Cordero may be feeling pressure from reliever Aroldis Chapman. Since returning to the team in late June, he’s been solid. On July 6, he earned a save after Cordero blew the save chance against the Cardinals. Chapman had command issues in the past, illustrated by three May appearances where he handed out nine free passes, and only accounted for one out. It was so bad that he had back-to-back games with 0.0 IP.
If Cordero continues to struggle, Cincinnati may give Chapman more opportunities in the ninth inning.
– Kevin Gregg may face a suspension following his fracas with David Ortiz. If that’s the case, look for Koji Uehara to be the short-term closer in Baltimore.
– The Twins will attempt to trade Matt Capps sooner rather than later. It may be best to deal him now since any team that acquires Capps will be a playoff contender with an established closer.
– Just like the aforementioned Capps, Joakim Soria will be trade bait as the Royals continue to prep Aaron Crow for the his eventual closer takeover.
– Yes, more trade bait. The Padres are expected to trade Heath Bell. Potential suitors include the Angels (need a real closer), Phillies (need depth), and Rangers (need someone new). After the move, Mike Adams is next in line and should be an automatic add across all league formats.
Closer Chart below is colour-coded based upon stability of job.
Green = safe
Purple = shaky
Red = caution
Blue = committee
Orange = save poacher
Projected Next Up
Also in the Mix
Boston Red Sox
Chicago White Sox
Al Alburquerque (DL)
Clay Hensley (DL)
Kansas City Royals
Los Angeles Angels
Los Angeles Dodgers
Jonathan Broxton (DL)
New York Mets
New York Yankees
Rafael Soriano (DL)
Ryan Madson (DL)
Brad Lidge (DL)
St. Louis Cardinals
Eduardo Sanchez (DL)
San Diego Padres
San Francisco Giants
David Aardsma (DL)
Tampa Bay Rays
Toronto Blue Jays
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