The Detroit Tigers, Baltimore Orioles, and Arizona Diamondbacks are among the teams that have scouted Milwaukee Brewers relievers in recent days and weeks, according to major-league sources.
The Diamondbacks and Brewers have had discussions about right-handed relievers John Axford, Jim Henderson, and Francisco Rodriguez. The interest from the Tigers and Orioles appears more preliminary at this point. The Brewers have not had formal talks with the Tigers recently, sources said.
The interest in Rodriguez has been mild so far — which is surprising, since he has a 1.25 ERA and nine saves in 22 appearances. K-Rod should appeal to teams in need of late-inning help, particularly because he’s owed less than $1 million over the balance of the year.
Fewer teams can afford Axford, who has a little less than $2.5 million left on this year’s contract. Axford has three years of salary arbitration left, and interested clubs are wary of how expensive he will be going forward. However, his future salary may not be as high as expected because he’s not currently earning saves — one statistic that tends to accelerate reliever earnings.
Milwaukee also could listen to offers for left-hander Mike Gonzalez (3.19 ERA, 45 games, 1.516 WHIP) and right-hander Burke Badenhop (4.24 ERA, 42 games, 1.165 WHIP).
— Jon Paul Morosi and Ken Rosenthal