K-Rod's deal makes 2012 mutual option
The Milwaukee Brewers and Francisco Rodriguez have negotiated a new structure of the reliever's contractual clause, and the end result now is that the Brewers can use K-Rod in any role -- including closer -- without being locked into $17.5 million deal for the 2012 season.
The Brewers, already committed to pay at least $3.5 million in a possible buyout of that option, negotiated with Rodriguez's agent, Scott Boras, a larger buyout of $4 million -- in return for a restructuring of the games-finished clause.
The vesting option for 55 games finished still in place -- but now it's a mutual option, which means both sides have to agree to it for it to be exercised, which is highly unlikely. At $17.5 million, K-Rod would have the highest salary for any reliever in history. Rodriguez (and Boras) could prefer to have the closer become a free agent after this year.
Buster Olney is a senior baseball writer for ESPN The Magazine.