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Source: Nats, K-Rod agree on Minors deal

Owner of 437 career saves was recently released by the Tigers
MLB.com @JamalCollier

WASHINGTON -- The Nationals and right-hander Francisco Rodriguez have agreed to a Minor League deal and the veteran reliever will report to Triple-A Syracuse, a source has told MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez. Rodriguez can opt out of the deal if he's not promoted to the big leagues by July 12.

The club has not confirmed the report, first shared by MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman.

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WASHINGTON -- The Nationals and right-hander Francisco Rodriguez have agreed to a Minor League deal and the veteran reliever will report to Triple-A Syracuse, a source has told MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez. Rodriguez can opt out of the deal if he's not promoted to the big leagues by July 12.

The club has not confirmed the report, first shared by MLB Network Insider Jon Heyman.

View Full Game Coverage

Rodriguez, 35, was released by the Tigers on Friday after posting a 7.82 ERA and giving up nine homers in 25 1/3 innings this season, blowing six of his 13 save opportunities. It has been a disappointment after a strong 2016, when he posted a 3.24 ERA with 44 saves and an 8.02 K/9 rate.

Video: ARI@DET: K-Rod retires Owings to end the threat

However, the Nationals are in desperate need of bullpen help. Their relievers carried a 4.98 bullpen ERA into Tuesday, the second-worst in the Majors. They also have a number of relievers struggling or sidelined with injuries.

Even with Washington this signing, the club is certainly still going to be in the market for bullpen help before the non-waiver Trade Deadline on July 31. Rodriguez -- a six-time All-Star who ranks fourth on the all-time saves list with 437 -- has the pedigree and recent run of success that is attractive to the Nats. He might not be the cure at this stage in his career, but the Nats have little to lose by taking a chance on him and trying to correct his struggles in the Minors.

"Depends if he's still K-Rod," Nationals manager Dusty Baker said. "That's what it boils down to. I'll take Sandy Koufax, but he may not still be the same Sandy Koufax."

Jamal Collier covers the Nationals for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.

Washington Nationals, Francisco Rodriguez