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Mets Rumors: K-Rod Could Turn Down Set-Up Role In Trade

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We'd previously heard rumors that Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez would accept deals to certain teams even if it meant changing roles and becoming a set-up man, but today the Wall Street Journal's Brian Costa tweeted that Rodriguez wouldn't waive his no-trade clause if it meant that he'd have to become a set-up man, essentially refuting those reports.

Rodriguez, 29, has a good deal at stake in this, because he's only 21 finished games away from exercising a 2012 option that will give the relief pitcher a ridiculously high $17.5 million salary next season. In a closer's role, sticking around for the end of 21 games likely won't be difficult, particularly given that he's already up to 34 on the season.

But if a trade pushes him down to set-up man, achieving that goal of 55 games finished will become far more difficult, making it likely that the former Angel would hit the open market as a free agent. Rodriguez has ten unnamed teams on his no-trade clause at the moment, and he recently hired superagent Scott Boras to handle his affairs, leading some to speculation that he's preparing himself for free agency.

In that kind of situation, Rodriguez would likely command a multi-year deal, but it certainly wouldn't come with that kind of yearly salary. With Boras doing the talking and Rodriguez pitching well for the Metropolitans, though, it'll be hard for New York to justify preventing the 2012 option from exercising without a trade or a major appeal.