The Milwaukee Brewers have reached an agreement to bring back free agent closer Francisco Rodriguez on a two year deal.

Brewers beat reporter Tom Haudricourt reports that it is a $9 million deal, and the deal does include a team option for a third year. The 33-year-old right-handed pitcher was an All Star in 2014 and had a 3.04 ERA and 44 saves.

There was some question as to whether the team would bring back Rodriguez in 2014, and were strongly linked to Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon. Despite his All-Star honors, K-Rod’s ERA ballooned from a 2.58 before the break to a 3.97 in the year’s second half.

He also had greater success against left-handed hitters with a 7.2 strikeouts/walk rate, as opposed to a 2.85 rate versus right-handed batters. More concerning is the SLG and OPS of .475 and .772 for batters from the right side against Rodriguez.

The veteran closer will fortify a bullpen that lost stud southpaw Zach Duke to the White Sox, and Tom Gorzelanny to the Tigers. The team also traded Marco Estrada to the Blue Jays in return for 1B/OF Adam Lind. He will join the recently acquired Jonathan Broxton, and likely Will Smith at the back end of the Brewers bullpen.

The Brewers will have their work cut out for them in the NL Central this season. The Cardinals and Pirates look to remain at the top of the division, and the Reds are still talented. And it won’t be long before the upstart Cubs start turning their farm system into productive major leaguers.

 

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