The Tigers have acquired Francisco Rodriguez from the Brewers in a deal that will send minor-league infielder Javier Betancourt and a player to be named later to Milwaukee, as first reported by Augusto Cardenas in Venezuela. The deal has been officially announced by the teams.
Francisco Rodríguez was traded to Detroit Tigers. IF Javier Betancourt is headed to Milwaukee Brewers in this transaction— Augusto Cárdenas (@ACardenas13) November 18, 2015
Detroit has been active in their search for back-end bullpen help all winter, being linked to trade candidates Craig Kimbrel and Aroldis Chapman as well as free agents Joakim Soria and Darren O'Day. The acquisition of Rodriguez is likely not the last bullpen addition for new general manager Al Avila, who may look to add a setup man like Soria to provide an eighth-inning option.
Rodriguez, 33, pitched to a 2.21 ERA and 2.91 ERA over 57.0 innings while saving 38 contests in 2015. He re-signed with Milwaukee last offseason and was a candidate to be moved before both the non-waiver and waiver trade deadlines. After a strong 2014 campaign with Milwaukee (3.04 ERA in 68.0 innings), Rodriguez has established himself once again as a reliable closing option. He saved 44 contests with the Brewers in 2014 and pitched to a 2.70 ERA over 46.2 innings in 2013.
Rodriguez joins right-handers Alex Wilson, Neftali Feliz and Bruce Rondon in the back end of a Tigers' bullpen that has been the team's Achilles heel for the past few seasons.
Betancourt, 20, spent his season with High-A Lakeland, posting a .263/.304/.336 line with three home runs in 122 games. The Venezuelan infielder was not ranked by MLB.com as one of the top 30 prospects in Milwaukee's system before the deal, meaning that the deal will largely provide salary relief for the Brewers.