Detroit Tigers Never Shopped Francisco Rodriguez

Detroit Tigers closer Francisco Rodriguez enjoyed a fine first season in the Motor City. Now, it seems that the reliever will be sticking around for the 2017 campaign.

Detroit Tigers general manager spoke to the media on Monday night at Major League Baseball’s annual Winter Meetings.

MLB.com’s Jason Beck summed up part of the general manager’s comments in a tweet on Monday night. The reporter tweeted, “Avila said unlike Maybin, they didn’t make Francisco Rodriguez available for trade before picking up option. Not inclined to trade him now.”

The move to keep Rodriguez certainly makes sense in hindsight given the reliever’s excellent debut season with the Tigers.

In 58.1 innings pitched for Detroit, the veteran registered 44 saves while finishing 55 games. What’s more, he also struck out 52 while walking just 21 hitters.

All told, that equates to a solid 8.0 strikeouts per nine frames, and just 3.2 walks per nine innings.

Rodriguez allowed six home runs. He logged a 0.6 WAR.

Trade Win

The Detroit Tigers came away the winners in the deal that brought the man known as “K-Rod” to the Motor City last offseason.

Avila shipped infield prospect Javier Betancourt and a player to be named later to the National League Central club for Rodriguez.

Betancourt, a 22-year-old infielder, made his Double-A last season in the Milwaukee system in 2016. The versatile defender hit just .224 with a .285 on-base percentage in 110 games.

In those 110 games, the prospect also collected 43 RBI, 23 runs scored, 12 doubles, five home runs, three triples and three stolen bases.

Detroit would later send former Kansas City backstop Manny Pina to the Brewers to complete the deal. Pina would go on to bat .329 for Colorado Springs in the Pacific Coast League.

The 29-year-old also added 43 RBI, 28 runs scored, 21 doubles, five home runs and three triples before earning a promotion to the Majors.

Pina would go on to appear in 33 games for the Brewers, registering a .254 batting average and a .346 on-base percentage. He threw out 28% of would-be base stealers while contributing 12 RBI, four runs scored, four doubles and two home runs at the plate.

Money

With the free agent market likely to produce hefty contracts for the likes of Kenley Jansen, Aroldis Chapman and others, the Detroit Tigers are getting a relative bargain in Rodriguez.

Per Spotrac, the closer is owed $6 million next season.

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