July 12, 2011

Closer Francisco Rodriguez has been traded to the Brewers, along with cash, for two players to be named later.

Rodriguez was widely believed to be on the Mets' trading block this season, as the 29-year-old right-hander faced a $17.5 million option for 2012. The Mets (46-45) sit third in the NL East, 11 games back of the Phillies.

Rodriguez has fallen from his dominant form since signing a three-year, $37 million contract with the Mets before the 2009 season. He owns a 3.16 ERA with 23 saves and a 1.41 WHIP this season.

The Brewers (49-43), who are tied for the NL Central lead with the Cardinals, added to a bullpen that includes incumbent closer John Axford (2.83 ERA, 23-of-25 in save chances) but lacks a consistent eighth-inning option. Takashi Saito spent all of May and June on the disabled list. Kameron Loe lost his grip on the main setup role just before the All-Star break.

The Mets are left with two ninth-inning options. Jason Isringhausen (3.14 ERA), a 38-year-old with 293 career saves, didn't pitch in the majors in 2010 after undergoing Tommy John surgery. Bobby Parnell, 26, owns the lowest ERA (2.92) in the Mets bullpen.

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