Henry Rodriguez Rumors

Central Notes: Tigers, Brewers, Arroyo, Freese, Cubs

The Indians had a visit today from Crash Davis. Kevin Costner, star of the movie Bull Durham and in Cleveland for the filming of his new movie Draft Day where he plays the GM of the Cleveland Browns, played catch in the outfield, gloved some ground ball at third base, and took batting practice. "I was actually glad I made contact," Costner said with a smile to reporters including MLB.com's Jordan Bastian. "I hadn't swung in a couple years. I thought my chances of swinging through the ball were just as good as fouling it off." With filming in Cleveland, Costner said he has seen several Indians games at Progressive Field and likes what he has seen, "I really think this team can win the division. I've watched a lot of baseball and they have a couple good pieces of DNA. One of them is they come from behind. Not all teams can do that. They've got the right amount of athletic arrogance to do that. I think they can run Detroit down." I wonder if Billy Chapel would agree. Speaking of the Tigers and the rest of baseball's Central Division teams:  

  • The Tigers had a scout at the Marlins-Giants series this weekend, reports Jason Beck of MLB.com. The Tigers are said to have interest in Miami relievers Steve Cishek and Ryan Webb.
  • Injuries and back-loaded contracts with deferred money have diminished the value of the Brewers' trade chips, according to the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's Tom Haudricourt. The Brewers do have some productive players on team-friendly contracts such as Yovani Gallardo, Norichika Aoki, and Jonathan Lucroy; but, Haudricourt questions what the return would be for them or for relievers Francisco Rodriguez and John Axford.
  • Bronson Arroyo is well aware financial constraints could force the Reds not to re-sign him, reports John Fay of the Cincinnati Enquirer.  "I talked about it very briefly in the offseason," Arroyo said. "The feeling I got was: ‘Hey, we’d love to have you, Bronson.’ I think everybody around would love to keep me here the rest of my career. But monetarily there’s question marks there."
  • The Cubs could designate Henry Rodriguez for assignment to make room for another position player, tweets Bruce Miles of the Daily Herald.
  • Like Arroyo, Cardinals third baseman David Freese told Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch he is aware he could become a payroll casualty because of the young and inexpensive infield talent the club has.  Freese is arbitration eligible once again this winter and isn't eligible for free agency until after the 2015 season.

Zach Links contributed to this post.


Cubs Acquire Henry Rodriguez

The Nationals announced that they have traded Henry Rodriguez to the Cubs in exchange for fellow right-hander Ian Dickson.  The Nats designated Rodriguez for assignment last week in order to make room on the roster for Anthony Rendon.

Rodriguez, 26, has a 4.23 ERA with 9.3 K/9 and 6.1 BB/9 across parts of five big league seasons with the A's and Nats. He pitched 18 innings in relief for Washington this season, posting a 4.00 ERA with eleven strikeouts and 16 walks.  While he has yet to find sustained success in the big leagues, Rodriguez has impressed with a 100 mph fastball in recent outings.

Dickson, 22, was taken in the 35th round of the 2011 draft by the Cubs.  The youngster has a 6.88 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 3.8 BB/9 in three starts and eight relief appearances for Chicago's Single-A affiliate this year.


Quick Hits: Biogenesis, Ortiz, Crain, Reed, Diaz

If Major League Baseball is really hoping to suspend the 20+ players involved in the Biogenesis scandal, FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal thinks the league will need more evidence than just the word of clinic founder Tony Bosch.  It will be too easy, Rosenthal argues, for the players' representatives to claim that Bosch lacks credibility and that he is only naming names to avoid possible criminal prosecution and getting himself sued by the league.

Here are some news items from around the sport…

  • "To be honest with you, all those years I got to free agency, I never thought about going somewhere else," David Ortiz tells WEEI.com's Alex Speier.  "I feel like I'm a big part of these ball clubs. I feel like what I was asking for wasn't anything they couldn't give me. You look into situations, and I never had the feeling that I was going to go somewhere else, to be honest with you."  Ortiz is off to a big start this season and is making good on the two-year, $26MM deal he signed to remain with the Red Sox last offseason.
  • Jesse Crain and Addison Reed both aren't worried about possibly becoming trade bait this summer if the White Sox decide to rebuild, MLB.com's Scott Merkin reports.  Merkin notes that the veteran Crain is the likelier of the two to be moved, and I'd argue that Chicago would only move Reed if they received a knockout offer.
  • Aledmys Diaz is playing with a Mexican League team this summer and during the winter, MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez reports.  The Cuban shortstop hopes to sign with a Major League team in February.  Diaz drew attention from at least 10 teams last winter, though at least one team (the Twins) thought Diaz's asking price was "too high" and MLB was investigating whether Diaz was really 23 years old.
  • Nationals manager Davey Johnson told reporters (including Mark Zuckerman of CSN Washington) that he expects both Henry Rodriguez and Zach Duke to be claimed by other teams.  The two relievers were both designated for assignment by the Nats today.


Nationals Designate Henry Rodriguez For Assignment

Henry Rodriguez told James Wagner of the Washington Post (via Twitter) that he has been designated for assignment by the Nationals.  The move is a part of a roster shuffle that will allow the Nats to promote Anthony Rendon and left-hander Ian Krol.

Rodriguez, 26, owns a 4.23 ERA with 9.3 K/9 and 6.1 BB/9 across parts of five big league seasons with the A's and Nats.  He pitched 18 innings in relief for Washington this season, posting a 4.00 ERA with eleven strikeouts and 16 walks.  Though he might not know where the ball is going, Rodriguez is the definition of a live arm, averaging around 100 miles per hour on his fastball in his last few outings.

Rodriguez was signed by the Athletics as an amateur free agent out of Venezuela in 2003, and was traded to the Nationals in the December 2010 Josh Willingham deal.