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Francisco Rodriguez won't rule out return to Mets

Mets reliever Francisco Rodriguez reacts after getting Philadelphia's

Mets reliever Francisco Rodriguez reacts after getting Philadelphia's Jayson Werth to strike out swinging for the final out on May 27, 2010. Credit: AP

Francisco Rodriguez's renaissance could be taking place with the Mets, the franchise that once traded him away. Instead, Rodriguez is thriving with the Brewers, who outbid the Mets this winter for his services.

Still, Rodriguez isn't ruling out a return some day to the Mets, where his tenure was marred by his arrest for punching a family member after a game in 2010.

"I always keep my mind open," Rodriguez said Wednesday. "I do really want to have the opportunity once again to come back here."

Rodriguez, 32, said he hopes to "prove something to myself" by returning to the Mets, who signed him to a three-year, $37 million deal before the 2009 season before trading him during the 2011 campaign.

The Mets could have used Rodriguez's arm in the bullpen, which has settled down after a bumpy opening month. In 30 appearances with the Brewers, Rodriguez has 19 saves with a 2.08 ERA.

For the second straight offseason, Rodriguez said the Mets expressed serious interest. He was excited by the potential of a return, especially after the Mets offered a big-league deal.

"For a second, I thought I would be going back," he said.

But Rodriguez said the Mets' offer was dwarfed by the one-year, $3.25 million deal he signed with the Brewers. Rodriguez said the difference in salary made for an easy decision. "But you never know what's going to happen this year and the year after that," Rodriguez said.

Extra bases

In a procedural move to clear a roster spot, the Mets put top pitching prospect Noah Syndergaard on the minor-league disabled list. Syndergaard is recovering from a left shoulder strain, though the club says he did not suffer a setback. He's eligible to come off the DL on Monday . . . Daisuke Matsuzaka was hit on the right leg by a comebacker on Tuesday night, but he's expected to make his next scheduled start.

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