Orioles Acquire Best Available Relief Pitcher, Francisco Rodriguez — And Keep Him Away From Red Sox
Remember when we all read that the Orioles funds were close to being “tapped out” after acquiring Scott Feldman? Apparently they weren’t close enough to rule out adding right handed relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez.
On Tuesday night, the O’s surprised the baseball world when they sent prospect Nick Delmonico to Milwaukee for some bullpen help in the form of K-Rod. With Frankie, they get a proven postseason arm and the best relief pitcher made available on the trade market this season. While Jim Johnson has been shaky this season, Rodriguez is a perfect 10-for-10 in save opportunities.
In 2013, Rodriguez has held opponents to a .198/.274/.291 slashline and posted a 2.89 K/BB. With runners in scoring position, K-Rod has limited batters to a .071/.350/.071 slash allowing just one run to score in 20 plate appearances. Yeah, that OBP is a little scary, my podcast co-host/Mets fan Patrick Guthrie tried to warn me of that.
Rodriguez’s changeup has been absolutely filthy this season. According to ESPN Stats and Info, hitters have posted a .069 batting average and .272 OPS on the changeup this season, both ranking top ten in MLB.
Rodriguez is a four-time All-Star, won a World Series with the Angels in 2002 and is the All-Time single-season save record holder (62).
In making the move, the Birds also keep K-Rod away from the Boston Red Sox, one of the main teams rumored to have heavy interest in acquiring him. Boston has been in search of bullpen help at the deadline.
To acquire Rodriguez, the Orioles had to deal their 2011 sixth-round draft pick, 21-year-old Nick Delmonico to Milwaukee. The first/third baseman was ranked the O’s fourth-best prospect by Baseball America and posted a .244/.351/.471 line in 262 plate appearances with Single-A Frederick. Zach Mortimer of Baseball Prospectus tweets that Delmonico’s bat “shows sign of life, but he is going to have to play first base.”
Perhaps an extension for Chris Davis is being worked on?
Roch Kubatko also tweets that Delmonico has had some trouble staying healthy and says it was the Orioles “main issue” with their prospect.