Mets closer Francisco Rodriguez pleaded guilty this morning of assault, a move that spared him jail time but will bring him an additional 52 weeks of anger management classes.
His plea also bought him an additional season with the Mets for $11.5 million. It was the best case scenario for the closer who not only lost his temper but is losing his fastball.
For one more year at least, the Mets will have a closer. He Rodriguez finishes 55 games in 2011, he could stand to make an additional $17.5 million for 2012.
If Rodriguez does not finish 55 games and he fails a physical after the 2011 season, the Mets will have a $3.5 million buyout.
That, along with the books cleared of Oliver Perez and Carlos Beltran, would open up the Mets’ wallet to be big players in the 2011 free-agent market.
Rodriguez is young enough at 28 where he could regain his form, but there are concerns that with his motion and delivery the downhill slide might not be reversible.
All this is very interesting. Will the Mets limit his appearances to stay away from the option kicking in? If they have a competitive team all summer I doubt it, especially if Bobby Parnell doesn’t perform and show he’s capable of assuming the closer role.
Of course, if the Mets don’t shore up their rotation and the bridge to Rodriguez, he won’t have that many save opportunities to begin with.