We always love to talk about who “wins” and “loses” a trade, but sometimes, both teams lose or neither team loses. In this case, the Richard Rodriguez deal is the only trade you could say the Braves truly “lost” from the 2021 trade deadline, but it’s hard to say that when Rodriguez did enough to get the Braves to the postseason. Even though Rodriguez was wisely left off the playoff roster, he had some key moments for the Braves. He was acquired in exchange for longtime prospect hopeful Bryse Wilson and Top 30 prospect Ricky DeVito.
Bullpen help ✔️
The @Braves acquired Pirates closer Richard Rodriguez in exchange for Bryse Wilson and Ricky DeVito. pic.twitter.com/1gZs088DuP
— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) July 30, 2021
Of course, after 2021, the Braves didn’t think Rodriguez’s services were necessary in 2022, and Rodriguez was suspended 80 games for PEDs.
The #Braves today declined to tender a 2022 contract to INF Johan Camargo, RHP Jasseel De La Cruz, and RHP Richard Rodríguez. The club also today tendered contracts to the remaining unsigned players on the organization’s 40-man roster, which stands at 38.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) December 1, 2021
MLB announces three players suspended for PED violations. 80 games each for:
free agent infielder Danny Santana
free agent infielder José Rondón
free agent pitcher Richard Rodríguez
— Britt Ghiroli (@Britt_Ghiroli) April 4, 2022
There were signs that Rodriguez would fade down the stretch. His spin rate and, consequently, his performance, fell off a cliff after the “sticky stuff” ban from Major League Baseball. He was left with a two-fastball combo that was often flat and very hittable. This is likely why the Braves got him for such a meager return. Rodriguez has since signed a minor league deal with the Yankees, but this isn’t about him. How have Bryse Wilson and Ricky DeVito performed in Pittsburgh?
#PIT Bryse Wilson is currently blazing.#LetsGoBucs | @Pirates pic.twitter.com/9iGH06yNp2
— MLB Heat Check (@mlbheatcheck) July 15, 2022
Wilson was the biggest part of this deal, and I’m very happy to see him get a chance to pitch every five days. As you can see, he has been solid for the Pirates of late. But Wilson is still struggling to find his footing in 2022, posting a 1-5 record over 46.1 innings with a 6.60 ERA. He has, however, gone 5-0 with a 2.97 ERA in AAA. Hopefully he continues to develop; I really like Wilson and I’ll always be a fan.
Ricky DeVito has spent all of 2022 in Class A Advanced Greensboro. He’s been used primarily out of the bullpen, posting a 4.35 ERA and 1.59 WHIP over 41.1 innings pitched. He’s about to turn 24, so he’s a bit behind schedule for a guy his age.
If the Braves hadn’t brought home a World Series, it would be easy to call the Richard Rodriguez trade a loss for both sides. Even then, this is one that doesn’t look like it’s going to provide either club with any long-term impact.
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