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What happens if K-Rod accepts arbitration?

If Francisco Rodriguez accepts arbitration tonight by 11:00 p.m. CST, most fans assume the Milwaukee Brewers will be stuck paying his $13 million salary for the 2012 season. This could be a devastating blow to the Brewer’s chances of signing a player of significant importance during free agency. Fortunately, there is a loop hole that will get Milwaukee out of this predicament if they choose to do so.

According to MLB Rules Governing the Eligibility and Process of Arbitration, “If the player is cut within 16 days before the season begins, he is entitled only to 30 days’ termination pay, or about one-sixth of his awarded salary. If the player is cut during spring training but after the 16th day before the season begins, he is entitled only to 45 days’ termination pay.”

Basically, if Milwaukee decides to cut Rodriguez in spring training they will only have to pay him approximately $2.16 million, which is clearly a better option than the $13 million he is due. The Brewers have made it clear they have no money to spend on a setup man of his magnitude after investing money in starting pitchers Zach Greinke and Shaun Marcum last year.

Unless owner Mark Attanasio has deeper pockets then we are led to believe, don’t plan on seeing Rodriguez in a Brewer uniform come next season.