Detroit Tigers: What They’re Saying About the Francisco Rodriguez Trade


The Detroit Tigers acquired closer Francisco Rodriguez in a trade with the Milwaukee Brewers on Wednesday in exchange for second base prospect Javier Betancourt and a player to be named later.

Rodriguez, or K-Rod as he is colloquially known, fills an obvious need for the Tigers who struggled mightily with poor bullpen production in 2015, but a more thorough analysis of the transaction includes more factors than simply the Tigers’ need to build a reliable stable of relievers.

Here’s what others around the internet are saying about Rodriguez as a player and the trade that brings him to Detroit.

Neil Weinberg of New English D says the Tigers paid a reasonable price in obtaining Rodriguez. Weinberg notes that while K-Rod should be expected to lock down the ninth inning, the Tigers still have work to do toward building a solid bullpen.

"The Tigers need to do more, either in free agency or on the trade market. Having a good reliever pitch the 9th inning when the lead is three runs or fewer doesn’t make other relievers pitch better, it just bumps the worst guy from the bullpen and moves everyone down a slot. The Tigers needed to add three pretty good relievers when the winter began, now that number is down to two."

Weinberg also reminds us that Rodriguez has a history of domestic violence arrests, a troubling fact that goes beyond on-field success.

Jeff Sullivan took a look at how Rodriguez’s approach to pitching has evolved as he has aged. Rodriguez, who once had a dominating fastball, is now punching out batters with a heavy reliance on a devastating changeup — a pitch that wasn’t really even in his repertoire in his first five or six seasons in the big leagues.

"As the fastball has gotten worse, Rodriguez has moved away from it. As the breaking ball has gotten worse, Rodriguez has moved away from it. And as the changeup has gotten better, Rodriguez has favored it, and based on recent indications, it could stand to be thrown more often."

More from Detroit Jock City

Baseball Prospectus happened to release their list of the Top 10 prospects in the Detroit Tigers’ system yesterday. They had second baseman Javier Betancourt listed as the No. 8 prospect in the organization. Here’s part of their writeup on him:

"Betancourt is the antithesis of the Dombrowski prospect; an infielder without a high ceiling but with a fairly high floor. He has excellent hand-eye coordination and a short, compact swing, and there’s very little here in terms of contact issues. Unfortunately, his lack of strength and bat speed mean he doesn’t make much loud contact, as the power is well below average."