K-Rod and The Fine Art of Flexibility

The market for free agent closer Francisco Rodriguez is not as lively as expected.

It has to feel a little weird to be Francisco Rodriguez right now.  You're in the prime of your pitching career at 26 years old. You just broke the major league save record in your walk year. You are clearly the best closer available in free agency.

Yet, unlike Sabathia or Texeira -- who represent the best starter and bat available, and have teams lining up --  the Hot Stove is apparently only lukewarm for K-Rod. Such that his agent recently had to come out and declare Rodriguez's "flexibility" to make sure the few teams that were interested weren't scared off by contract demands. 

One of those teams being the New York Metropolitans

It's a remarkably similar narrative to how the Mets obtained Johan Santana.  Granted that was a trade, this is free agency; but in the end, the Mets benefited from a surprisingly tepid market on someone regarded as arguably the best pitcher in baseball. This was due to financial reasons-- most couldn't afford him, but also philosophical reasons; the teams that could afford him were choosing to go with their prospects in stead of trading them away.

Similarly for Francisco, a lot of the market is eliminated by his presumed contract demands. The rest are choosing to not concentrate so much of the bullpen budget on one guy; no one wants to pay the first-guy-to-close-over-sixty-games-in-a-season luxury tax.

With reports that Angels owner Arte Moreno has already pulled the plug on Francisco's return to Los Angeles, the Mets may very well have the best package of money, team, and location to offer. Francisco obviously wants a nice contract, but has stated he wants a good situation (read: winning). He also has an ego that wants to prove itself on the biggest stage (read: New York).

All things considered: if Minaya offers four years at a little less than Mariano money, say $50 million or so, the Mets should be in good position to close the deal on their future closer at a relative bargain rate. 

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