Washington’s bullpen struggles have caused general manager Mike Rizzo to search for relief help for weeks, so the pending addition of K-Rod comes as no surprise. Rodriguez was released over the weekend by the Tigers after opening his season with a 7.82 ERA and 1.658 WHIP in 25.1 innings.
Though Rodriguez has had his share of struggles this season, the hope for the Nats will be that a change of scenery will lead to him being a dependable veteran arm at the back end of a contender’s bullpen. Rodriguez has posted an ERA under 3.25 in each of the last four seasons, so there is some reason to believe the 35-year old could get things back on track with the Nats.
Rodriguez is in the final year of a three-year, $17 million deal with the Tigers and is earning $6 million this season. Detroit will pick up the tab on the rest of that, with Washington paying only a prorated portion of the major-league minimum.
Rodriguez owns a career 2.86 ERA and 437 saves in 16 major-league seasons with the Angels, Mets, Brewers, Orioles and Tigers. He may have a chance to be the closer in Washington, where Matt Albers, Koda Glover, Shawn Kelley and Blake Treinen have each had chances to close so far this year.