From the top rope, Jeff Passan delivered a bomb at the buzzer, as he reported Richard Rodriguez has been traded to the Braves.
Richard Rodriguez goes to Atlanta, source tells ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 30, 2021
For four seasons, Rodriguez has been an elite reliever for the Pirates, recording a sub-3.00 ERA and a 10.0 K/9 in just under 200 innings. He could take over the closer’s role in Atlanta or set up for Will Smith. Either way, Atlanta’s bullpen just got a lot more formidable, and it could get even better if they choose to add guys like Ynoa and Toussaint to the ‘pen when everyone is healthy.
In return, the Braves are sending the Pirates Bryse Wilson and Ricky DeVito. Braves fans are all too familiar with Wilson. Once a top-ten prospect, he’s shown flashes of greatness, like when he out-dueled Clayton Kershaw in Game 4 of last year’s NLCS. However, he’s yet to put it all together and has not been able to stick in the majors. With that being said, Wilson is still just 23-years-old, and I believe there’s a chance he becomes a really good starting pitcher one day.
DeVito was a 2019 8th round pick that has opened a lot of eyes early in his professional career. He’s currently sporting a 2.66 ERA for Rome over 20.1 innings, but it’s far too early to tell whether he will ever be an effective major-leaguer. Overall, I thought this was a pretty fair return for a high-quality reliever that the Braves desperately needed.