Francisco Rodriguez Won't Be Happy As Setup Man?

Remember when Francisco Rodriguez said he was open to becoming a setup man (at least with the right team)?

Well, there's a new agent in town (via Newday's Ken Davidoff):

Scott Boras confirmed that he is K-Rod's new representative, replacing Paul Kinzer. And baseball's most prominent, powerful agent worked quickly to dispute the industrywide notion that Rodriguez, because of a unique vesting option, will be dealt somewhere as a setup man this summer.

"Francisco Rodriguez is a historic closer," Boras said at the player availabilities at a ritzy area hotel. "He's not going anywhere to be a setup man."

--snip--

"Closers don't make good setup men," said Boras, who represented Eric Gagne when the former Cy Young Award-winning closer bombed as a Red Sox setup man in 2007. "Does anyone want an unhappy setup man in their clubhouse?"


Please someone write a book about Scott Boras and collect all the amazingly wonderful things he's said over the years. I guess this might qualify as wonderfully amazing, but was Gagne terrible in 2007 because he was unhappy? Or because he was just terrible, generally. The next year with the Brewers, Gagne was the closer long enough to get 10 saves but also wound up with a 5.44 ERA. I'm pretty sure most closers could be good setup men, especially if their agents convinced them it wouldn't cost them any money in the long run.

Anyway, as Davidoff points out, Rodriguez's no-trade clause includes only 10 teams, which leaves 19 others. So what happens if one of those teams already has a good closer and wants Rodriguez as a setup man? My guess is that he'll pitch well in that role, if only because not pitching might cost him a great deal of money on his next contract.

Scott Boras doesn't want his client deployed as a setup man, because if that happens a $17.5-million option for 2012 won't vest. But that option doesn't have to define the situation.

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