The Braves have non-tendered right-handed pitcher Richard Rodriguez, reports MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand. Acquired in a mid-season deal with Pittsburgh, Rodriguez pitched to fine bottom-line results in Atlanta but carried worrying peripherals and faded down the stretch. MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz projected the former closer to make $3.1MM in his upcoming trip through arbitration.
A non-tender is an unceremonious end to the year for a player who was a mainstay out of the Pirates bullpen for years. Still, Rodriguez was long thought to be a risky investment owing to a 2-pitch arsenal that leaned on a 93mph fastball most of the time. This approach led to excellent control (4% walk-rate in 2021) and ample pop-ups, but also left Rodriguez with a rather volatile strikeout ability (36.6% strikeout rate in 2020; 16.7% rate in 2021) and at heightened risk for home runs. As a player who has found ample success with his skillset, it won’t be a surprise to see Rodriguez get swooped up by a team for a similar price tag the Braves passed on.
Also being non-tendered by the club are infielder Johan Camargo and right-handed pitcher Jasseel De La Cruz. The soon-to-be 28-year-old Camargo had a 3.2 bWAR showing for the Braves back in 2018 but has seen his offense and playing time slide in recent years. A hitless 15-game stint with the Braves this year coupled with the recent extension of Orlando Arcia gives Atlanta reason to move on, though other clubs will surely be intrigued by Camargo’s versatility and continued Triple-A dominance. De La Cruz meanwhile has scattered strong results as a starter throughout his minor league career but struggled to a 7.19 ERA in 56 Triple-A innings. His non-tender frees up a spot on the Atlanta 40-man roster, bringing it down to 38 players.