Brewers bring back K-Rod for the bullpen

The Brewers signed Francisco Rodriguez to a one-year contract, the reliever's third go-around with Milwaukee.

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Francisco Rodriguez is once again returning to the Milwaukee Brewers.

The Brewers announced Friday they they signed Rodriguez to a one-year contract. FOX Sport’s John Morosi reports the deal is for a $3.25 million base salary and he can earn $550,000 in performance bonuses.

To make room for Rodriguez on the 40-man roster, the Brewers designated pitcher Donovan Hand for assignment.

Rodriguez pitched for the Brewers from 2011, when Milwaukee acquired him a trade with the Mets, to 2012. When Rodriguez couldn’t find a major-league suitor after entering free agency, he signed a minor-league contract with the Brewers.

He eventually made it back to the big leagues and pitched in 25 games for Milwaukee, going 1-1 with 10 saves — including the 300th of his career — and a 1.09 ERA before being dealt to the Orioles on July 23, 2013 for minor-leaguer Nick Delmonico.

Rodriguez didn’t fare as well with Baltimore, going 2-1 with a 4.50 ERA in 23 games, and once again entered free agency.

With the Brewers, Rodriguez is expected to serve as a set-up man and insurance at closer for Jim Henderson.

Hand made his major-league debut with the Brewers last season at age 27, haivng pitched in Milwaukee’s minor-league system since 2007. Hand was 1-5 with a 3.69 ERA in 31 games — including seven starts — for the Brewers in 2013.  

Rodriguez has pitched in 134 games for the Brewers with a 7-8 record, 13 saves and 3.15 ERA. In his career, Rodriguez — who is also known as K-Rod — has pitched in 730 games and is 41-36 with 304 saves, a 2.70 ERA and 1.177 WHIP while striking out 10.9 batters per nine innings. He holds the single-season save record with 62 while with the Angels in 2008.

Rodriguez began his career with the Angels in 2002, when, despite coming up late in the season, he was a key member of their postseason World Series title run. In addition to the Brewers and Orioles, he also was the closer for the Mets from 2009 until his trade to Milwaukee in 2011.