K-Rod Trade: Great for Both Teams

The dust is beginning to settle from the trade of Francisco Rodriguez. When it’s all said and done, it will be one of the rare trades that works out well for both teams.

krodWe know about the Mets benefit — they won’t have to pay K-Rod $17.5 million next season. The option certainly would have vested had he remained with the team.

“I think clearly we know can look forward to in 2012 to considerably more payroll flexibility,” Sandy Alderson said on a conference call Wednesday. “That flexibility to allocate our resources will be very important to us next season.”

It doesn’t matter which two prospects the Mets eventually get from the Brewers. They are likely not to be blue-chippers — they cleaned out their farm system in the off-season trades for Zack Greinke and Shaun Marcum. Getting rid of the contract is enough.

As for the Brewers, the are getting $5 million in the deal, which pays for almost all of K-Rod’s salary for the remainder of the season. They are unlikely to use him as a closer — they have an effective one in John Axford — so the option will not vest. They are only on the hook for a $3.5 million buyout. So for that relatively small amount of money, they get a top-notch eighth inning guy for their pennant run. Not bad indeed.

Some say this signals the Mets sending up the white flag. Alderson said that is false.

“From my standpoint this certainly does not signify a change in direction from our continuing attempt to win games this season,” Alderson said. “One could view this as a slight impediment. But, at the same time, it really should not signal any significant change in direction.”

No, surrender will happen if the Mets drop too far behind by July 31 and trade Carlos Beltran. Right now they are 11 games behind the Phillies in the NL East, and seven and a half behind the Braves in the Wild Card.

With two big series coming up against the Phillies and Cardinals, we will soon learn if the Mets are viable Wild Card contenders, and if Beltran and others will be wearing new uniforms in August.

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