Pittsburgh Pirates: Four Potential Richard Rodriguez Trade Destinations

MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 30: Richard Rodriguez #42 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches in the ninth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on August 30, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day, which was postponed April 15 due to the coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
MILWAUKEE, WISCONSIN - AUGUST 30: Richard Rodriguez #42 of the Pittsburgh Pirates pitches in the ninth inning against the Milwaukee Brewers at Miller Park on August 30, 2020 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. All players are wearing #42 in honor of Jackie Robinson Day, which was postponed April 15 due to the coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /
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Aug 19, 2020; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Jesœs Luzardo (44) delivers a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of a baseball game at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports
Aug 19, 2020; Oakland, California, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Jesœs Luzardo (44) delivers a pitch against the Arizona Diamondbacks during the first inning of a baseball game at Oakland Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: D. Ross Cameron-USA TODAY Sports /

Oakland A’s

The Oakland A’s had the complete opposite situation than the Phillies had. They had an outstanding bullpen with four pitchers having a sub-2 ERA in at least 20 innings. Out of the nine qualified relief pitchers they had, only 1 had an ERA above 4.

Liam Hendriks posted another elite season, having a 1.78 ERA, 1.14 FIP and 2.07 xFIP in 25.1 innings. Veterans Joakim Soria and Yusmerio Petit were key pieces of the A’s bullpen, and lefty Jake Diekman allowed just one earned run in 21.1 innings. The A’s led MLB in bullpen ERA, were second in WHIP, third in FIP, and fifth in fWAR.

But the A’s are going to see Petit, Soria, and most importantly Hendriks hit free agency. That’s three pitchers who combined for a 3 fWAR, including one of the most effective relief pitchers in the game.

They won’t be the only productive players potentially leaving in free agency either. The small market A’s will also be heavily involved in the pursuit of second baseman/corner infielder Tommy LaStella so they can lock down the keystone, but might have to wave goodbye to long time shortstop, and the bronze medalist in 2019 American League MVP voting, Marcus Semien.

Clearly, the A’s are set to lose many core pieces that helped them put up the second best record in the American League in 2020. Finding a cheap yet effective option in the back end of the bullpen will probably be one of the A’s first tasks on their things to do this offseason list. The Pittsburgh Pirates have said cheap, effective relief option in Rodriguez.