Potential Trade Target: Richard Rodriguezby Jamie Gatlin December 28, 2020 1 comment
With Spring Training only months away, the Boston Red Sox roster is far from set. One area they still need help is in the bullpen, which struggled last year. While the Red Sox still have many options in free agency, one possible trade target is Richard Rodriguez. The veteran reliever has been a steady presence in Pittsburgh over the past few years and could be on the move as the Pirates continues their rebuild. Although Rodriguez would most likely cost a prospect or two, he would add a much-needed arm to the Red Sox pitching staff.
Additionally, Rodriguez is coming off a highly productive season for the Pirates. In 24 appearances last year, he posted a 2.70 ERA, the second-lowest of his career. In 23.1 innings of work, Rodriguez struck out 34 batters and recorded a career-high four saves. After struggling with the longball in 2019, he was able to rebound and flash his dominant form from two years ago.
One potential trade target for the Red Sox is Richard Rodriguez.
— Jamie Gatlin (@JamieGatlin17) December 27, 2020
Furthermore, the thirty-year-old was nearly unhittable in 2020 as he held opponents to a .179 average. In a bullpen that struggled at times, Rodriguez was one of the Pirates’ few reliable arms. After walking 23 batters in 2019, The righty improved his control and only walked five in 2020. A lot of his appearances also came in high leverage situations.
If Rodriguez had pitched out of the Red Sox bullpen last year, he would have led all Boston relievers in strikeouts and ERA. While the righty won’t come cheap, he would be a welcomed addition to the Boston bullpen. Rodriguez also represents one of the Pirates’ biggest trade chips left on their roster.
Richard Rodriguez now has 12 straight scoreless appearances, and his 79 Ks are the most by a Pirates rookie reliever since 1993 (Minor, 84). 👀 pic.twitter.com/weeLkxjeYV
— Pirates (@Pirates) September 17, 2018
A Rodriguez Trade Would Fill A Huge Hole In Boston
Last week Pittsburgh traded fan favorite Josh Bell to the Nationals for two pitching prospects. However, the move does not figure to be their last as teams have reportedly shown interest in Adam Frazier, Jameson Taillon, and Joe Musgrove. Rodriguez will most likely join that list and comes with three years of control.
While Rodriguez has flown under the radar in Pittsburgh, he has shown the ability to be an above-average arm at times. In four major league seasons, Rodriguez has held opponents to a .236 average. In that span, he has struck 188 batters in 164 appearances. That is the type of reliever Boston is looking for in a free agency full of uncertainty. As General Manager Chaim Bloom continues to improve the Red Sox for 2020 and beyond, he could have a trade partner in the Pirates.
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