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.

Orioles acquire Francisco Rodriguez

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.

Patrick Guthrie on K-RodRodriguez’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.

Zach Wilt is the Founding Editor of BaltimoreSportsReport.com and host of the BSR Podcast. He's a loyal Orioles, Ravens and Capitals fan who is obsessed with baseball, loves traveling, In-N-Out Burger and Walt Disney World.

6 Comments

  1. MGW

    July 24, 2013 at 9:09 am

    I love the trolls rebuttals when they make a trade.

    “He’s juicing, that’s why he’s good”

    And whatever incoherrant rant 2488 was on today.

  2. anonymous hippopotamus

    July 24, 2013 at 10:11 am

    Low-risk, high reward! Delmonico had zero future with this club, being blocked at 3rd and 1st. This is a great move!

  3. Pole

    July 26, 2013 at 7:32 am

    There’s the pitch, high fly ball to left center field, going, going, gone. The Royals now lead 7-1. Nice debut.

  4. MGW

    July 26, 2013 at 10:03 am

    Pole, whichever way the wind blows you go the opposite way. Or whatever way 2488 tells you to go.

  5. Ravens2488

    July 26, 2013 at 11:32 am

    Pole, the “Orioles Apologists” cannot stand when you dog them… You Da Man Pole!

  6. MGW

    July 26, 2013 at 5:35 pm

    Pole, you’ve got 2488 and spy on your side…think about it.