12/09/2008 3:30 PM ET
Mets, K-Rod reach deal
K-Rod and Amazins agree to three-year contract
By Ted Berg / SNY.tv
Francisco Rodriguez saved 62 games in 69 chances for the Los Angeles Angels in 2008. (AP)

SNY.tv has learned that the Mets have agreed to terms with reliever Francisco Rodriguez on a three-year contract worth $37 million, pending a physical.

The team made no secrets of its search for a late-inning reliever this offseason after losing closer Billy Wagner to injury in August and missing the playoffs for the second straight year. Rodriguez, who set a single-season saves record in 2008 with 62, was believed to be the team's top choice at the position.

A 6-foot right-hander, Rodriguez debuted with the Los Angeles (né Anaheim) Angels late in the 2002 season. Despite pitching in only five games that season, he was chosen for the team's postseason roster. He drew national attention with 18 2/3 October innings, allowing only four earned runs and striking out 28 batters en route to a World Championship.

After pitching in a setup role for most of the next two seasons, Rodriguez seized the club's closer job in 2005, saving 45 games and striking out 91 batters in 67 1/3 innings. He added 47 saves in 2006 and 40 in 2007 before his record-setting season in 2008.

Rodriguez will turn 27 on Jan. 7.

The Mets bullpen posted a 4.27 ERA in 493 1/3 innings in 2008, but yielded a 5.02 ERA in 188 1/3 innings after the All-Star Break. In August and September, Mets relievers surrendered 22 home runs in 149 innings.

Ted Berg is the senior editorial producer for SNY.tv.
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