As a possible alternative should they seek to add an experienced relief pitcher to their roster at some point, the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday re-signed Francisco Rodriguez to a minor-league deal.
The deal is a no-risk move by the Brewers, who have 30 days to summon Rodriguez, 31, to the majors or grant his release. Rodriguez, who pitched the last 1 1/2 seasons for the Brewers, was not offered a job as a free agent over the off-season and has been in his native Venezuela. He did pitch for his country in the World Baseball Classic, but that has been his only competition since last year.
“K-Rod” will report to Maryvale Baseball Park in Phoenix to work out with the extended spring training program until ready to pitch. General manager Doug Melvin said Rodriguez needs to be granted a work visa, also, before he can be assigned to a minor-league team.
Melvin wouldn’t reveal details of the agreement, but CBS Sports reported the deal could net Rodriguez more than $2 million if he makes it to the majors.
Melvin said the move had nothing to do with John Axford being removed as closer a week into the season. Rodriguez was used as a fill-in closer in the middle of last season when Axford struggled.