Well, Al Avila has made his first trade as the Detroit Tigers general manager and it’s coming with mixed reactions to start. Detroit acquired right handed closer, Francisco Rodriguez (K-Rod) from the Milwaukee Brewers for Detroit’s 11th rated prospect by MLB.com, second baseman Javier Bentancourt.
My reaction has varied early on from disappointment to acceptance when I come to the realization that Soria’s asking price was too high, Detroit may not have wanted to risk experimenting with putting a Shawn Kelly or Darren O’Day in a closers role without major experience, and the Reds were simply asking more than Detroit was willing to give up for Aroldis Chapman.
At the end of the day, do I wish Detroit would have gotten Chapman or been in on the Kimbrel trade? Of course. Would I have been ok with the signing of Soria? Yep. But when taking a look at the numbers, I tend to shrug my shoulders and say, ok, we have a “proven” closer I guess and we didn’t give up a ton for him.
By The Numbers
Francisco Rodriguez, RHP (34-years old) – In 2015, K-Rod was 1-3 with a 2.21 ERA, 0.860 WHIP, collected 38 saves, made 55 appearances, and allowed 38 hits, 6 of which were home runs, and walked just 11, while striking out 62. That’s a 6.0 hits per 9 rate, 1.7 walks per 9, and 9.8 k’s per 9.
Over his career, Rodriguez has a life time ERA of 2.69, with 1.142 WHIP, and 386 saves, to go a long with a 3.6 walks per 9 ratio and 10.8 k’s per 9.
The only thing that concerns me, is when looking at the velocity charts, I see in 2013 that Rodriguez was more around the 93 mph range for his fastball and rarely below 90. In 2015, there was a big shift in velocity with his fastball dipping in to the upper 80’s considerably more (see below)
As far as Bentancourt goes, you hate to see young talent leaving an already challenged farm system, however I can’t be upset over losing a second baseman who it .263 with a .640 OPS last season in High-A and .269 with a .651 OPS the year before in A-ball. That doesn’t mean he won’t develop as he was young for his these two leagues.
If I was to grade Avila’s first trade, I’d give it a B-. Not exciting, but not depressing either…