Brewers to call up Francisco Rodriguez

Paul Nordmann

The ex-closer signed a minor league contract with the team earlier in the season.

The Brewers will reportedly bring Francisco Rodriguez up to the major league roster. Rodriguez signed a minor league contract earlier in the season but had a clause stating that he would be released if he were not on the active roster in 30 days. That deadline came up today, and Milwaukee obviously thought enough of the right hander that they did not want to lose him.

The news was originally broken by CBSSports.com's Jon Heyman. Brewers beat reporter Todd Rosiak later confirmed the report and said the move will be officially made when Rodriguez arrives in Pittsburgh, where the Brewers are currently playing a series against the Pirates.

Rodriguez, 31, appeared in 72 games for the Brewers in 2012, the most he has ever pitched in a season. His 72 innings thrown were the most he has pitched since 2005. Last season was also arguably the worst year of his career as he posted a 4.38 ERA.

Milwaukee originally acquired Rodriguez a trade with the New York Mets in mid-2011 when he was on the verge of free agency. However, Rodriguez accepted an arbitration offer from the team and remained with the Brewers for one more year. After his struggles and domestic violence charges last winter that were later dismissed when the two witnesses left the country, the Brewers refrained from offering him another contract.

The Brewers decided to take a flier on Rodriguez's talent with some of their bullpen arms struggling. Milwaukee has the third worst bullpen ERA in the majors between 2012-2013. This season, ex-closer John Axford has continued his downward trend with a 9.20 ERA. Brandon Kintzler, recent call-up Mike Fiers and free-agent signing Mike Gonzalez have all also struggled this year.

The Brewers will likely choose between those four when deciding who to remove from the roster to accommodate Rodriguez. Fiers may be the most likely candidate as he does not have the talent of the other three and has had prolonged struggles dating back to the end of last season.

Milwaukee will also need to clear a 40-man roster spot for Rodriguez. The obvious solution would be to move Taylor Green, out for the season after having hip surgery, to the 60-day DL. However, the team may also choose to designate someone for assignment.

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