The Baltimore Orioles have just announced that they have made their second trade of the season, this one for longtime relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez. In exchange the Orioles are sending minor leaguer Nick Delmonico to the Brewers. Delmonico has spent the entire season so far with the high-A Frederick Keys.
Rodriguez, or K-Rod as the kids call him (well, kids in 2005) is a right-handed pitcher who has spent most of his career as a closer. He started the season on a minor-league contract with the Brewers and has gotten into 25 games this season with a 1.09 ERA since being called up on May 16th. His FIP is quite a bit higher at 3.03 but when your ERA is 1, quite a bit higher still isn't bad.
Rodriguez is 31 years old, which surprised me because he's been in the majors since 2002. Other than a rough year in 2012 he's always been a reliable reliever and in the mid-2000s was a shutdown closer for the Angels.
Nick Delmonico, the player that the Orioles parted with, was drafted in the 6th round of the 2011 draft and while his bat get good reviews, his defense is known to be less than desirable and he's suffered from some injuries. Prior to the 2013 season, Baseball America named Delmonico the Orioles 4th best prospect.
I need to some time for this move to sink in. My initial reaction was that it's stupid, but the more I think about it, I may be coming around. I thought 1) Rodriguez was older, and 2) he was pitching much worse over the last few years than he really was. I'm not the resident minors expert on this site but Delmonico was never been one of my favorites due to the reviews on his defense.
So welcome to Birdland, Francisco Rodriguez! Don't screw up.