The Rangers announced (via EVP of communications John Blake) that they have designated left-hander Wandy Rodriguez for assignment. Lefty Alex Claudio and righty Jon Edwards were promoted from Triple-A as well, with right-hander Phil Klein being optioned to the minors.
The DFA of Rodriguez is somewhat of a surprise, as the left-hander has been a mostly solid rotation piece for Texas this season and has even been rumored as a potential trade candidate. The DFA, though, certainly doesn’t eliminate the possibility of a trade. It does allow potentially interested parties, though, to show limited interest with the hope that Rodriguez will eventually become a free agent and be available for the league minimum.
The 36-year-old Rodriguez signed a minor league deal with the Braves this winter but didn’t make the team’s rotation in Spring Training despite quality numbers. (That spot went to fellow lefty Eric Stults.) Rodriguez worked to a 3.20 ERA with a 50-to-23 K/BB ratio in 64 2/3 innings over his first 11 starts this year, though he’s recently been hit extremely hard in a pair of outings. Rodriguez has a 9.97 ERA over his past 21 2/3 innings, although the vast majority of that damage came in a pair of brutal outings where he combined for 15 runs in five innings. He’s mixed in a pair of very solid five-inning starts in that time as well.
Overall, Rodriguez has a 4.90 ERA with 7.5 K/9, 3.8 BB/9 and a 41 percent ground-ball rate in 86 1/3 innings this season. He’s never been a hard thrower, but he’s creeping ever closer to the “crafty lefty” territory, as his 2015 heater is averaging just 88.4 mph. Recent meltdowns notwithstanding, Rodriguez has a fairly palatable 4.27 FIP and 4.28 xFIP on the season, so one would think that he could still be a passable back-end starter for a team with a top-heavy rotation.