CINCINNATI - It's probably too late to think of Francisco Rodriguez as a threat to topple Mariano Rivera as the all-time saves leader, but Rodriguez, who is making his fourth All-Star appearance, is only 33 and has 367 career saves.
Rivera retired with 652, 51 more than Trevor Hoffman. But with Rodriguez averaging 27 saves through his first 13 seasons, coming off 44 last year and having converted all 19 of his save chances in the first half for the Brewers in 2015, he could get into Rivera's neighborhood.
Using that yearly average, if he pitched for another decade before retiring at 43 -- the age at which Rivera ended his career -- Rodriguez could finish with well over 600 saves.
"If I'm healthy, I will," he said. "I do have a lot of miles, though. I'm like a rental car."
That's true. Despite his relatively young age, Rodriguez has 831 games on his odometer for a total of 867 innings. Rivera finished with 1,115 games and 1,2832/3 innings.
Regardless of his eventual place in history, Rodriguez is a good midseason trade candidate, even though he's owed a guaranteed $5.2 million, including a $2-million buyout of his 2016 option for $6 million.
Tex OK with A.J.
In his final season, A.J. Burnett is an All-Star for the first time, and evidently having more fun with the Pirates than he did during his tumultuous three seasons in the Bronx. Burnett, 38, never seemed very comfortable with the Yankees, going 34-35 with a 4.79 ERA, but former teammate Mark Teixeira suggested he was a bit misunderstood.
"I'm so happy for A.J.," Teixeira said. "We had a couple of great years together. He was a huge part of our World Series team [in 2009]. I love his fire on the mound. He never wanted to lose. When he lost a game, he was not happy. When he gave up a run, he wasn't happy."
Which probably explains his better mood now in Pittsburgh.