The New York Mets lost in an exhibition game to Venezuela’s World Baseball Classic squad today 14-10. This game is meaningless in the scheme of the upcoming season, but the exhibition gave relief pitcher Francisco Rodriquez a chance to remind his former team that he is still available for the upcoming season.
Rodriquez did not pitch against the Mets today, but has not been shy about his hope to return to New York. Rodriquez was a once prized free agent, as the Mets signed him to a three-year deal worth $37 million in 2008. During his two and a half year tenure with the team Rodriquez recorded 83 saves in 165 appearances. He was traded to the Milwaukee Brewers at the 2011 trade deadline. Although he was effective at times for the team, he was ultimately a bust as he was plagued by injuries and even punched his father in law after a blown save at Citi Field, creating a lot of bad press for the organization.
Despite all of that, Rodriquez wants to return to New York, hoping to redeem himself to the fans and the team. However, the team does not appear to be interested in reuniting with their former closer. General manager Sandy Alderson signed relievers Brandon Lyon, Pedro Feliciano and LaTroy Hawkins this offseason to repair their weak bullpen. The team’s current closer Frank Francisco is still injured, and they are prepared to move forward with Bobby Parnell in that role. The Mets have had the entire offseason to sign Rodriquez and have stayed away, which is unlikely to change as Opening Day approaches.