Pittsburgh Pirates Rumors: Possible Pitching Reunion from 2021

Jul 29, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Richard Rodriguez (48) arrives at the park to play the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 29, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA; Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Richard Rodriguez (48) arrives at the park to play the Milwaukee Brewers at PNC Park. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports /
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The Pittsburgh Pirates need to fill out their pitching staff before the 2022 season.  Apparently, they have an interest in bringing back a reliever.

One of the tougher trades the Pittsburgh Pirates made at the 2021 Trade Deadline was the last-minute deal that sent relief pitcher Richard Rodriguez to the Atlanta Braves.  The deal made sense, after all the team was continuing their strenuous rebuild, dealing away several other veterans from the roster.  Also, Rodriguez only had one year of contractual control left, so his value was likely at its peak.

After posting a 2.82 ERA with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Rodriguez went to Atlanta and pitched to a 3.03 ERA.  While the ERA remained similar, the biggest thing that stood out was the dramatic drop in strikeouts from Rodriguez. After striking out 28% of hitters with the Bucs, Rodriguez saw a dramatic decrease when he went to Atlanta with his punchout rate at just 8%.

It was interesting to see from a Pittsburgh Pirates fan’s perspective.  Naturally, many noticed a drop off after the MLB started policing “sticky stuff”. more strictly  However, maybe it was something that just clicked better here in Pittsburgh with pitching coach Oscar Marin.

Well, according to Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Jason Mackey, the Pittsburgh Pirates are interested in potentially acquiring the veteran reliever once more. Mackey tweeted:

As always Jason comes up with some very good information that should make Pirate fans happy.  While Rodriguez has never been a big name, he was after all one of the team’s most reliable relievers the last few seasons.  Bringing him back would be a win for the Pittsburgh Pirates.  They were able to trade him away for prospects, and now potentially resign him.

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Rodriguez was set to enter his final year of team control with the Braves.  Instead, he was a  victim at yesterday’s non-tender deadline.  The reliever was projected to make around 3 million dollars in arbitration.  If the Pittsburgh Pirates can bring him in on a contract cheaper than that then it will be a real victory for Front Office.  Plus, it would be a nice veteran boost to the bullpen.

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