The Washington Nationals have reportedly agreed to a deal with 35-year-old veteran reliever Francisco Rodriguez, who was released by the Tigers last week, according to Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports.
Rodriguez, more affably referred to as K-Rod, ranks fourth all-time in saves — behind only Mariano Rivera, Trevor Hoffman and Lee Smith — with 437 and is the active saves leader in Major League Baseball.
Rodriguez went 2-5 with a 7.82 ERA in 28 relief appearances (25.1 innings pitched), converting seven of 13 save opportunities for the Tigers in 2017. In 2016, K-Rod owned a 3.24 ERA with 44 saves in 49 opportunities.
Heyman reported earlier the right-hander could choose his next big league club as early as Monday, expecting him to sign with the Nationals. Heyman added: “Rodriguez will likely be forced to participate in a few minor league games before heading to Washington.”
While K-Rod is clearly no longer performing at the top of his game, the Nationals are in desperate need of bullpen help and faced with few options to improve. The Nats, despite possessing the third-worst bullpen (4.88 ERA) in the National League, still hold the third-best record in baseball (45-30).