So K-Rod is a Brewer. That's that. It was a trade that had to be made, even if the Mets end up with only a couple Chris Carter's (and not the A's version) in return. While I would have preferred the Mets kept the option from vesting by using K-Rod in high-leverage, non-save situations, this is better than nothing. And besides, I'm guessing Sandy Alderson didn't want his first season as GM to be all about finding creative ways to deny his players money.
Of course, it goes without saying that I enjoy all the hand-wringing in The Post, and elsewhere, about cleaning house, told in hilarious Terry Collins housecleaning metaphor. Do we even need to refute this? OK, I'll bite: Over the span of 70 games, how many more games are the Mets going to win with K-Rod than without? 1? 2? 3? Individual relief pitchers are highly overvalued to begin with, and this is not 2008. The second-best relief pitcher on the Mets is not Luis Ayala. Bobby Parnell, Izzy, and Pedro Beato are probably all capable of giving you 95% of what K-Rod would. Besides, even the 2008 Mets suffered from some terrible luck, like Aaron Heilman's career falling apart at the exact same time Billy Wagner got hurt, and Pedro Feliciano suffered the only bad year of his career.
Besides, those 1-3 games are unlikely to matter. Look, I've been cautioning since the offseason that the Mets aren't as bad as people think, aren't in as bad shape as a franchise as people think, yet they are 7.5 games behind the Braves. And for all the talk about the Mets getting David Wright, Ike Davis and maybe even Johan Santana back soon, eventually Martin Prado will return to Atlanta, who, by the way, have gotten pretty much nothing out of Jayson Heyward and Dan Uggla, who are probably their two best hitters. Only Jair Jurrjens could be described as overperforming for Atlanta.
Look, it would suck if the Mets fell a couple games short of the Braves and we all had to think "what if the Mets had held onto K-Rod," particuarly if there were a couple high profile blown leads at the end of the year, but $17.5m is just too much money to pay any relief pitcher, particuarly when the Mets should be resigning Jose Reyes in the offseason.
As for the other end of the trade, this is a great move for Milwaukee. The Brewers have, in the last year, added Zach Greinke, Shaun Marcum and now K-Rod to a team that already had Ryan Braun, Prince Fielder, Yovani Gallardo, Rickie Weeks, Corey Hart and John Axford. So everyone wins. Except K-Rod, who probably won't be able to make $17.5 million dollars, next year.