The other day, August wrote about how the Tigers’ bullpen was in desperate need of improvement. That is, if the Tigers intend to compete in 2016, and they do intend to compete in 2016, while simultaneously trying to keep the longer-term picture in mind. So it made sense when, earlier Wednesday, reports came out the Tigers didn’t love the asking prices for the higher-tier relievers available. It’s not like the Tigers have all that much youth to move around, anyway. This all led to an unsurprising end: the Tigers have picked up the more affordable Francisco Rodriguez, from the Brewers. The Brewers are getting a low-level prospect. There are some players to be named later. This will probably just be remembered as the Rodriguez trade, if it’s remembered at all.
Of course a team in the Brewers’ position had little reason to hang on to a veteran closer. And of course a team in the Tigers’ position was looking to add a veteran closer. Doesn’t get more veteran closer-y than picking up the active leader in career saves. You could say Rodriguez is only 34 in January, and that’s true. He’s also looking ahead to his 15th season in the major leagues. He’s survived for a long time, and he’s even thrived for a long time. You can only do that by adapting. Francisco Rodriguez is a tremendous example of how a pitcher should want to age.