San Francisco Giants: 3 waiver trade targets the team can still pursue after July 31 deadline

By Matthew Connolly
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Jun 6, 2015; Minneapolis, MN, USA; Milwaukee Brewers relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez (57) celebrates the win after the game against the Minnesota Twins at Target Field. The Milwaukee Brewers beat the Minnesota Twins 4-2. Mandatory Credit: Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Late-inning reliever: Francisco Rodriguez

Talk about a segue.

K-Rod was the arch-nemesis of the Giants fan base during that same World Series run over a decade ago. Fast-forward to the present, and Rodriguez represents an intriguing option to shore up the backend of San Francisco’s bullpen.

At age 33, the closer no longer has the blazing fastball-buckling curveball combo that made him famous, but his two-seamer is still effective and his changeup has become one of the best in baseball. Rodriguez’s numbers this year (1.50 ERA, 0.83 WHIP, 40 K) prove that he’s still a worthy ninth-inning stopper, but the Giants could use him in any capacity alongside Sergio Romo, Javier Lopez and Santiago Casilla, and be markedly improved.

The relief corps has recovered from a rocky start to the season—now ranking in the top-third in MLB bullpen ERA at 3.27—but Ryan Vogelsong and Yusmero Petit are somewhat redundant as long-men, making a late-inning guy like Rodriguez all the more enticing. The $7.5 million he’s owed next year is pretty affordable, too.

The only concern is how his personality would mesh with the rest of the clubhouse. The Giants put a premium on team chemistry, and Rodriguez has a history of questionable transgressions.