The Braves finished their busy day by acquiring much-anticipated bullpen help. They acquired Pirates reliever Richard Rodriguez to complete their trade-deadline Friday, sending right-handers Bryse Wilson and Ricky DeVito in the deal.
Rodriguez, 31, has a 2.82 ERA with 14 saves for the rebuilding Pirates. He bolsters the back of the Braves’ bullpen, giving them another high-leverage righty in the later innings. Over the past two seasons, Rodriguez owns a 2.77 ERA with a 67:10 strikeout-to-walk ratio over 61-2/3 innings. He hasn’t been as sharp lately, however, posting a 6.75 ERA in eight appearances this month.
Rodriguez is arbitration-eligible for the second time this coming winter. He’s under team control through 2023.
“We liked Rodriguez, clearly, and it was just a deal that made sense,” general manager Alex Anthopoulos said. “We like the fact that we have some control beyond the current year. We talked about relievers on expiring contracts, but we like the fact that he’s got another two years of control beyond this year. He has experience obviously at the back end, can pitch the ninth if needed. I talked to him. He understands.
“He’ll pitch any inning. Could be sixth, seventh, whatever it is. Just another good bullpen arm with experience to add to that depth. Because as we know, there’s certain days we have we have guys down that are just not available. We want to keep them upright. So having more quality arms, and having that depth is pretty important.”
Wilson, 23, ends his Braves career with a 5.45 ERA in 22 games. He made seven starts this season with a 4.83 ERA. Wilson will be remembered for outpitching Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw in Game 4 of last October’s National League Championship Series. Wilson now joins the team against whom he made his first start in 2018.
Earlier in the day, the Braves acquired a trio of outfielders in Adam Duvall, Eddie Rosario and Jorge Soler. They also added outfielder Joc Pederson and catcher Stephen Vogt two weeks ago, making for a sizable July haul.