The Angels have announced that they have sent righty Elvin Rodriguez to the Tigers. He’ll become the player to be named later in the deal that sent outfielder Justin Upton to Los Angeles two weeks ago.
Rodriguez, 19, joins fellow minor-league righty Grayson Long in making up the return for Upton, who was something of an odd trade candidate given that he can opt out of his contract at the end of the season. Detroit did have some leverage, as the team could have held onto him and then traded the remainder of his deal if he did not exercise that clause and return to the open market. The Tigers also had reason to want a deal, though, since Upton was not eligible for a qualifying offer (having previously received one) if he opted out.
Rodriguez has shown some promise in the Halos system and ranked 22nd among the club’s farmhands on MLB.com’s latest list. Though he doesn’t even sit above 90 mph, per MLB.com, he generates movement, possesses intriguing secondary offerings, and has a track record of success in the low minors. Refinement and perhaps also some physical development may yet come. Rodriguez posted a 2.91 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 1.9 BB/9 in his 68 innings this year, most of which came at the Rookie ball level before he earned a promotion to Class A.