The Los Angeles Dodgers and the Pittsburgh Pirates are two teams that are once again heading in completely different directions. Mookie Betts and the Dodgers are looking to once again make a run to the postseason, while Richard Rodriguez and the Pirates are looking to once again tear things down and rebuild.
While Pittsburgh does have an All-Star in Adam Frazier, they are rooted to the bottom of the NL, and that could mean that a closer like Rodriguez could be shopped around the league to the highest bidder in exchange for some prospects.
The Dodgers have Kenley Jansen returning to his old self after some somewhat concerning seasons, but that shouldn’t stop them from making some bullpen additions.
With one more closer-level player in the fold, the Dodgers could be unstoppable in October that they could go on another miracle run.
Rodriguez had been closing at a near All-Star level for Pittsburgh this year, meaning that teams like the Blue Jays will try to pluck him away from the Pirates.
Being proactive means that Rodriguez could end up with the Dodgers, making their bullpen one of the most skilled in the game.
Richard Rodriguez could be the ideal setup man for the Dodgers.
Rodriguez has a 2.59 ERA to his name and 10 saves, which is impressive for a Pittsburgh team that is rarely even in a position to earn saves. With a nasty fastball that has late cutting movement and a wipeout slider, Rodriguez has the stuff to make big league hitters miss regularly.
Blake Treinen, Jimmy Nelson, and Victor Gonzalez have made for quite a lethal combination out of the pen, so why not add another veteran to the mix. With three more years of club control before his contract expires, this wouldn’t be a long-term fix.
While he is mostly a one-pitch pitcher, and the Dodgers might want him to feature a sinker that he has thrown occasionally, but Rodriguez would instantly land the Dodgers a difference-maker. It may only cose them one player that is knocking on the door of the higher tiers of the minor leagues and one in the lower levels.
Rodriguez will almost certainly not end the season as a member of the Pirates, meaning he should use the last month of the season in order to pad his stats and make him more attractive to a team like the Dodgers. If LA is up with two more innings to go, Rodriguez and Jansen could slam the door shut on any hopes of a comeback.