Yankees Free Agent Target: Francisco Rodriguez
Many consider the Yankees bullpen as the most dependable part of the 2014 club. But with the current uncertainty surrounding the closer role next season, Francisco Rodriguez could be just the man the Yankees are looking for.
There is so much that Rodríguez brings to the table. Last season with Milwaukee, he posted a 3.04 ERA. But even more impressive were his 73 strikeouts in 68 innings. Now, there´s a ready made fire extinguisher for you. That Works out to 9.7 strikouts per nine innings.
But that´s how he earned the nickname of KRod in the first place. Some have even called him Special K. And he´s been doing it his whole career. He notched 62 saves in 2008 for the Angels. From 2005 through 2008 he racked up almost 200 saves in all. He was perhaps the second most feared closer in baseball, next to Mariano Rivera.
So now the Yankees have a chance to dress him in pinstripes. And they should. He would provide a dependable late inning arm if David Robertson goes. He would provide insurance if Dellin Betances has any trouble adjusting to the spotlight of the closer. And if Robertson stays, the Yankees would have a powerful big three for the seventh, eighth and ninth innings.
But more than anything, he would give the Yankees a reliever who has proven that he can handle playing in New York. He posted a 2.20 ERA for the Mets in 2010. And just in case you were wondering if he is past his prime, he registered an 11.5 strike outs per nine innings during his brief stay with the Orioles last year.
You can top that off with a 2.95 career ERA in the postseason. That includes 49 strikeouts in 36.2 innings. Once again, he blew batters away. He boasts 12 strikeouts per nine innings against playoff lineups and playoof pressure.
So K-Rod can handle New York, he can handle big time games, and he still has what it takes. He would come back to New York with a chip on his shoulder, intent on proving those wrong who think his best days are gone. The Yankees should make a strong effort to sign him. Special K can help make the Yankees´2015 finish a special one again.