Francisco Rodriguez rumors: Orioles, Brewers showing interest

Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

K-Rod spent time with both clubs in 2013 after starting the year on a minor league deal with Milwaukee.

The Orioles and Brewers have expressed interest in free agent reliever Francisco Rodriguez, according to MASN's Roch Kubatko.

K-Rod started the 2013 season as a Brevard County Manatee in the Brewers system, but quickly earned a role with the major league club. After cruising to a 1.09 ERA in over 24 innings with Milwaukee, Rodriguez was traded to Baltimore for minor leaguer Nick Delmonico. There, he struggled to earn the trust of O's manager Buck Showalter, often appearing in low-leverage situations. In 22 innings as an Oriole, Rodriguez put up a 4.50 ERA in 23 appearances. 

After Baltimore's deal with closer Grant Balfour fell apart, the club appears to be considering several different options for the back end of their bullpen. They could decide to use former starter Tommy Hunter in the ninth-innning and pursue a set-up man in free agency. However, the team has also been linked to Fernando Rodney as an option to replace former closer Jim Johnson. The Orioles traded Johnson to Oakland for infielder Jemile Weeks earlier this offseason.

If the Orioles land an expensive free agent like Nelson Cruz or Ubaldo Jimenez, they could turn to K-Rod as an alternative to Rodney -- who is expected to command a much more lucrative deal.

Jim Henderson took over the closing duties in Milwaukee after K-Rod was dealt. He was solid in the ninth, converting 28 of 32 save opportunities and posting a 2.70 ERA in 60 innings.

If Milwaukee decides to bring K-Rod back for 2014, it would likely be in a set-up role, though given his success with the club last season, he could be next in line if Henderson struggles.

Rodriguez has saved 304 games in his 12-year career with a 2.70 ERA, and he set the all-time single-season saves record with 62 in 2008 with the Angels.

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