While Brian Cashman seems to be looking far and wide for a setup man to help his ailing bullpen, maybe the Yankees general manager should check across town. Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez told the Daily News Thursday that he would not rule out a change in roles to go to a contending team such as the Yankees.
“If I am going to be traded, obviously I want the opportunity to close out games, but if it’s going to be good teams like the Yankees or the Rays, and it’s going to be for two months, I can go out there and help them out,” Rodriguez said.
Rodriguez has a clause in his contract where he has a $17.5 million option kick in if he finishes 55 games this year so trading him to a team that already has an established closer makes sense so the Yankees are a fit right away.
Now whether or not the Yankees and Mets can work out a deal is another thing. Rodriguez obviously has off the field issues that may scare some away, even the Yankees, and he is owed the remainder of his $11.5 million salary this season so he isn’t exactly cheap either. Brian Cashman said the other day when he was denying Jose Reyes rumors that even though a deal with the Mets is rare, he is open to it.
So the biggest hurdle is going to be finding a way for the two sides to work together. The Yankees aren’t going to want to give up a lot in the way of prospects, the last thing they want is to see somebody flourish in Flushing for a two-month rental reliever. At the same time, the Mets should have offers from other teams and won’t take less to send him to the Yankees. If anything, they might want more. That’s what makes this entire thing complicated.
The Yankees are looking for a setup man and the Mets don’t want to get stuck with paying K-Rod $17.5 million next season so something could very well happen. It won’t be easy though.