Report: Brewers still seeking relief

The Brewers have not been able to swing a deal for Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon thus far, so the club is continuing to look at other bullpen options, including Francisco Rodriguez, according to Ken Rosenthal of

Sources told Rosenthal that Rodriguez, one of the few big-name free agents remaining on the market, is aiming for a two-year contract. The 33-year-old right-hander saved 44 games for Milwaukee last season, posting 3.04 ERA in 68 innings, with 18 walks and 73 strikeouts while making $3.25 million. He has spent much of the past four seasons with the club, working both as a set-up man and closer.

The Brewers had tried to make a deal with the Phillies for Papelbon, who notched 39 saves with a 2.04 ERA last season and is due $13 million in ’15. He also has a $13 million option for ’16, which will vest if he finishes 48 games this year. Since the Brewers are one of the teams on Papelbon’s no-trade list, he probably would approve a deal only if Milwaukee picks up the option, Rosenthal reported.

That’s just one complication in the negotiations, with the Phillies reportedly willing to eat a significant portion of Papelbon’s remaining contract only if they receive a top prospect in return. Meanwhile, the Brewers offered current closer Jonathan Broxton in the deal as a different way to save money, but the Phillies weren’t interested.

— Andrew Simon

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