Rodriguez Flipped and Fried Promoted
Sean Rodriguez was flipped and Max Fried promoted on an eventful Braves Saturday. Both moves were surprising in different ways. The Braves traded Rodriguez to the Pirates for career minor leaguer, Connor Joe.
Rodriguez returned to the team where he had a breakout season in 2016. The utility player smashed 17 homers last year in Pittsburgh, then signed a 2-year $11+ million free agent deal with the Braves.
This deal will free up money, no on-field benefit expected. Joe has had below average minor league numbers and is strictly organizational depth.
Rodriguez returned a couple weeks ago after a serious off season car accident. The original prognosis had Rodriguez not returning until after the season. I’m sure the Braves are ecstatic he returned and they were able to unload Rodriguez’s salary.
Why is Pittsburgh doing this deal? The PIrates are 4.5 games behind the defending world champion Cubs in the Central Division and 4 behind the Brewers. They are 9.5 games behind in the wild card race. The Cubs have loaded up with talent before the trade deadline, Pittsburgh doesn’t think Sean Rodriguez is going to put them over the top, do they?
With Johan Camargo and Ozzie Albies manning the middle, Rodriguez’s opportunities were shrinking. He also struggled in his rehab stint at Gwinnett, getting only 3 hits in 39 at bats. Then continued the ineptitude with Atlanta, hitting only .162.
Fried is also a head scratching move. The big lefty struggled at Double-A Mississippi, registering a 5.92 ERA. Fried appeared in 19 games, all starts. He will be used in a bullpen role with the Braves.