Tuesday, January 17, 2012
Brewers sign K-Rod, Norichika Aoki
ESPN.com news services
MILWAUKEE -- The Brewers and reliever Francisco Rodriguez have agreed to an $8 million, one-year deal, avoiding arbitration.
Rodriguez, who had an $11.5 million salary last year, can make $625,000 in performance bonuses based on games finished: $125,000 each for 15, 20 and 25, and $250,000 for 30.
Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said the team intends to keep Rodriguez rather than listening to trade proposals.
"I haven't necessarily looked at offers to trade him," Melvin said. "My outlook has always been that he's part of this club."
K-Rod arrived in Milwaukee in a trade with the New York Mets in July and pitched primarily in a setup role for closer John Axford. He made 31 appearances for the Brewers, going 4-0 with a 1.86 ERA.
"We feel very good about having him and Axford, and having them the whole year," Melvin said. "We only had them half the season last year."
Overall last season, Rodriguez was 6-2 with a 2.64 ERA. He had 23 saves, all with the Mets.
Rodriguez could have pursued free-agent opportunities as a closer in the offseason, but instead accepted the Brewers' arbitration offer. Rodriguez has 291 saves.
The Brewers also signed Japanese outfielder Norichika Aoki to a two-year deal with a club option for 2014.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed, but Brewers general manager Doug Melvin said it contains a "fair amount" of incentives.
Aoki's team, the Tokyo Yakult Swallows, accepted the Brewers' bid of $2.5 million under the posting system in December. The Brewers had until 4 p.m. CT Tuesday to complete a deal.
"He wanted to come over here and play," Melvin said. "I don't think he had as many challenges left over there as he saw over here. So he's coming over here, and he's going to give it his best shot to try and get as much playing time as he can."
The 30-year-old Aoki hit over .300 in six of his seven full seasons and was a three-time batting champion in Japan's Central League. He was the league's 2005 rookie of the year and is a six-time golden glove award winner.
The Brewers could use outfield depth, given that they may be without NL MVP Ryan Braun for the first 50 games of next season if he loses his appeal for testing positive for a banned substance.
Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.