The Detroit Tigers have beefed up a disappointing bullpen by acquiring Francisco “K-Rod” Rodriguez from the Milwaukee Brewers. The Tigers will send minor league infielder Javier Betancourt and a player to be named later Milwaukee’s way.
Rodriguez, 34, has continued to be a reliable force at the back of the pen. He ended the 2015 season with 57 innings pitched, a 2.21 ERA, and 38 saves. One of his problems though is the home run ball. His arm speed has dipped, losing a full mile per hour off his average fastball velocity between 2014 and 2015, falling below 90 mph for the first time. However, these stats don’t lie. He put up a great season on a pretty terrible team. Detroit hopes he can contribute for the last two years of his deal.
Betancourt reached the High-A level last year at age 20. He is ranked 11th in Detroit’s farm system according to MLB.com. He profiles more as a second baseman, but can handle shortstop. He looks to be a contact hitter and hasn’t shown a real power stroke, nor has he shown to be a base stealer.
This is a great trade all around. Brewers, rebuilding, acquire a young player who can contribute to the franchise in the future. The Tigers are trying to compete in 2016, so they take in a veteran player who just so happens to fill a big void on this team. I believe this is a win-win.