Francisco Rodriguez recently hired Scott Boras as his agent, but Boras was not the mastermind behind the trade that sent K-Rod from the Mets to the Milwaukee Brewers, FOX Sports reported Wednesday.
In fact, it appears Boras had no direct influence on the trade talks.
Milwaukee was not among the 10 teams to which Rodriguez could have blocked a trade, major league sources told FOXSports.com, meaning the deal took place without the blessings of Boras or the four-time All-Star reliever.
As a result, Boras was unable to negotiate any financial bonuses or conditions with the deal — such as whether Rodriguez will serve as a closer with his new team. K-Rod’s role is of the utmost importance from a contractual standpoint, since his $17.5 million option for next year will vest if he finishes another 21 games this season.
If Rodriguez closes for the first-place Brewers, it’s likely that he will hit that mark. But the team could avoid that expense by using K-Rod in a setup role.
John Axford, the Brewers’ current closer, has a lower ERA than Rodriguez in a comparable number of innings this season. But Axford, who is in his first full season as a closer, lacks K-Rod’s overall career credentials.
Rodriguez could waive the $17.5 million option in order to become a free agent after the season. While Rodriguez would be giving up guaranteed money in that scenario, sources say the players’ union would permit him to do so because the act of becoming a free agent has inherent value to the player.
Boras has said publicly that Rodriguez is a closer and not a setup man. Still, Boras may in fact prefer that Rodriguez become a free agent.
If K-Rod signs a new contract, the agent’s commission will belong to Boras. But if the option vests, then the agency that negotiated Rodriguez’s current contract — Wasserman Media Group — could claim the commission on Rodriguez’s $17.5 million salary next year.