The New York Mets have officially begun the rebuilding process.

On Tuesday night, the Mets traded closer Francisco Rodriguez to the Milwaukee Brewers for two players to be named.

The Mets also sent cash to Milwaukee. Rodriguez has a contract clause that guarantees him $17.5 million in 2012 if he finishes 55 games this year. He's finished 34 games so far this year.

"We thank Frankie for his contributions to the Mets and wish him well with the Brewers," Mets General Manager Sandy Alderson said in a statement. "This trade allows us to develop and more fully utilize other members of our 2011 bullpen and offers some payroll relief as well."

Rodriguez has a 3.16 ERA and 23 saves in 42 games with the Mets.  He is a four-time All-Star and set the single-season saves record with 62 in 2008 with the Angels.

The Brewers already have a successful closer in John Axford, who is 23-for-25 in save chances this season.  K-Rod joins a Milwaukee club that is tied with St. Louis for the NL Central lead.

This is believed to be the first of a series of moves for new Mets' GM Sandy Alderson.  Carlos Beltran and Jose Reyes could also be heading out of New York as both are free agents after this season.