PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Less than an hour before Team Venezuela played an exhibition game against the Mets at Tradition Field, right-hander Francisco Rodriguez sat in the visiting dugout, ready to catch up with former teammates in the home clubhouse.
During parts of three seasons with New York from 2009-11, Rodriguez went 9-10 with a 3.05 ERA and 83 saves. He earned one All-Star appearance. Prior to that, Rodriguez combined for a 23-17 record, 2.35 ERA and 208 saves in seven seasons with the Angels, garnering three Midsummer Classic nods.
"I would love to [return to the Mets]," said Rodriguez, who is a free agent. "They've got a great coaching staff over there. To come back and redeem myself would be great, because I've got to be realistic and honest. You would have to be real blind to not see that I fell when I was there. That's not even a question. To be able to get one more shot and get it done would be great."
Rodriguez's former team spoke with his agent, Scott Boras, in either November or December, but there hasn't been "anything recently, as far as I know." Rodriguez said Boras has been in talks on a "few things out there, but pretty much waiting for the right time and the right moment."
The 31-year-old reliever has stayed in shape and remained healthy, which he calls the most important thing. Over the past two years with the Brewers, he served primarily as the setup man to John Axford.
"I think before I think about that, I just have to prove, '[Is] my body, healthy?'" Rodriguez said of whether he would be a closer again. "Do I want to be able to close again? No doubt in my mind. But I have to step back once again and throw the eighth inning again. It's out of my mind. Just get my job done when it needs to be, and see what happens."
Christina De Nicola is a contributor to MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.