henry rodriguez nationalsToday, the Chicago Cubs picked up reliever Henry Rodriguez in trade from the Washington Nationals in exchange for minor league pitcher Ian Dickson. I’d mentioned Rodriguez back when he was designated for assignment, and said he was pretty much exactly the type of pitcher the front office likes to take a chance on right now:

Nationals reliever Henry Rodrigez has been DFA’d and will be placed on waivers, which could pique the Cubs’ interest, given their penchant for grabbing and stashing arms. The 26-year-old righty has a huge arm – his fastball is regularly in the upper 90s, and frequently tops 100 – but has been plagued by control issues in recent years. He’s walked more than 6 per 9 each of the last three seasons. If you could harness that arm, there’s a ton of raw talent.

All of that remains true. Even in his “good” 2011 season, Rodriguez was walking 6.2 per 9, which he mitigated slightly by striking out 9.6 per 9. That might be his upside, though, as a poor-man’s Carlos Marmol (the good Carlos Marmol, circa 2007 to 2010), who gets himself into and out of trouble with his raw ability.

That said, in the last two years, he’s been frightfully bad for the Nationals – so much so that they were willing to let the 26-year-old go, despite his obvious natural ability. It’s a nice upside play for the Cubs, who’ve got nothing but time for a guy like Rodriguez. Get him in the organization, work on his form, and see what happens. You can’t teach 100 mph, so let’s see what happens. Rodriguez could immediately move into the bullpen if Zach Putnam has to go on the DL with an arm injury, or he could try to work things out at AAA.

The fact that the Cubs had to make a trade for Rodriguez suggests that there was at least a touch of interest by other teams in picking him up off of waivers, even if the price tag in trade wasn’t very steep.

Dickson, 22, was a mid-round pick in the 2011 Draft, and had been pitching with mixed results at low-A Kane County. He isn’t a complete non-prospect, but he’s right there on the border.

To make room on the 40-man roster for Rodriguez, the Cubs designated reliever Eduardo Sanchez for assignment. Sanchez, another upside reliever whom the Cubs had plucked off of the waiver wire from the Cardinals, got a couple weeks to show what he had at AAA Iowa. Either the Cubs didn’t like what they saw, or believe they can get him through waivers and stash him at AAA. Hopefully it’s the latter, because he’s a guy that would be nice to keep in the organization.

  • Kyle

    The “tank for draft position by filling out the roster with awful players” portion of the season has begun. Not that I blame them.

    • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

      He certainly doesn’t hurt in that regard. But – and I’m trying not to sound like a mouth-breather – you can’t teach 100 mph. This is the right kind of guy to take a chance on in a season like this. I dig it.

      • Kyle

        You also can’t teach “somehow managed to be worse this year than Rondon.”

    • Jp3

      Omg, you said a poor man’s Carlos marmol… I stopped reading after that

      • http://www.bleachernation.com Brett

        The good version of Carlos Marmol was an historically good reliever. A poor man’s version of that is a very good reliever.

        • Jp3

          I don’t remember that was so long ago when marmol was good.

          • fromthemitten

            When Rothschild was the pitching coach. dude was underrated

            • http://cubsdailyrecaps.blogspot.com Jason P

              I don’t think it has much to do with Rothschild. Marmol’s stuff has really declined.

              • Hansman1982

                He has thrown the most innings out of all relievers in the past 5 years.

          • hansman1982

            For a lot of last year and a good portion of this year, Marmol has been under-rated.

        • waittilthisyear

          on a completely worthless sidenote, i have often wondered whether it is “a” or “an” before the word “historically,” seeing as “an” sounds more natural phonetically, but “a” follows the rule. your grammar is good, so i trust yours, and now i know. yay, learning!

          • Cheryl

            Its an

            • They’re Alouing

              Its a

              • Matty Ice

                You are correct

                • Cheryl

                  Its still “an”. The guide is the word historical. With historical you always use an. Thus historically is also an.

                  • Andrew

                    it depends how you pronounce historical. If you don’t pronounce it with an h, like most british people, it is an, if you pronounce the h, like most americans, it is a. Either way is equally correct.

          • Andrew

            both are equally correct.

          • scorecardpaul

            were are all the smart people today??
            I would like to know the answer to this. So, they aren’t both correct? It depends how you say the word historical?

  • Jp3

    I thought Dickson was a typo and a poster meant Stewart, I was wrong, Ian D does exist. GETTING RID OF ALL IAN’s!!! I’ve honestly never heard of Ian Dickson, can’t be that good

  • another JP

    Might as well take a flyer on a big arm like his… guys like Caridad or Putnam just aren’t the answer. Rodriguez was actually pretty good for the As in 2010, and he’s still only 26.

  • http://vdcinc.biz 70’scub

    Start selling, two more years to go!

  • Mush

    They traded the wrong Ian. You see the night Colvin had.

    • Jp3

      I don’t even care they traded Ian for Colvin, I was just pissed when we resigned him for not doing dick last year.

      • Matt D

        we pretty much signed a version of colvin with less power in schierholtz.

        • Jim

          I like Schierholtz and Sweeney, I think that they have both done a good job for us. Is Schierholtz that bad against lefties that we are forced to see Hairston play?

          • mdavis

            i like them both too. i’m just saying.

    • JoeyCollins

      In Denver visiting the brother and had Colvins first HR land about 10 feet away from me. I could see the scrappy love on the faces of Rockies fans all around me.

    • hansman1982

      Why, on Earth, anyone throws a guy with a career 6% walk rate a strike is beyond me.

  • AP

    Just from looking at that picture, are we sure Mike Hampton didn’t get some fake documentation to change his age…I guess the 100 mph fastball is the tip off. Unless Hampton had the same surgery as Dennis Quaid in “The Rookie”.

    • Josh

      Also the fact that Rodriguez is a righty……

      • fromthemitten

        lmao I was about to say that

        • waittilthisyear

          maybe its a billy wagner type situation, where he broke his dominant arm, then learned to throw with his off-hand and, in turn, gained tremendous velocity. Although “Hampton” originates from a much more north-eastern geographical zone than “Rodriguez”…

  • Dustin S

    I look at it like the Cubs “Committed” catchphrase this year. If it’s time to stick a fork in it, and I’m afraid it is, let’s *Commit* to that. That way the focus for the remainder of the season can be on trading players that don’t fit in the rebuilding plan, evaluating players for 2014, and we can relax a bit over losses.

    As far as Rodriguez, hard to not like the trade. Dickson wasn’t doing too great at Kane County so it looks like a pretty straightforward modest prospect upgrade.

  • William

    Yes! I love us picking up flame throwers! He couldn’t do any worse than all the other ones being lit up already. We need assets and hopefully, he learns a little control.

  • ChicagoMike702

    Cubs are probably figuring and/or hoping Sanchez’s struggles at Iowa will help him pass through waivers.

  • Cheryl

    At least two years to wait. Will Sweum be here next year?

  • fromthemitten

    A guy who throws hard and can contribute at the MLB level is way more valuable than a guy who put up an ERA of 6+ at Kane County

  • http://Yahoo.com brandon

    So happy we got him. I remember when he was waived i was hoping we would claim him then i forgot so this is a pleasant surprise

  • JOE

    Talking to my brother in law (a die hard Cardinals fan, unfortunately) who really thinks that Sanchez still has a lot of upside based on what he saw of him in the Cards organization. Hopefully we can pass him through waivers and keep him around, too, like Brett suggested.

  • Die hard

    Well it’s obvious type of team Thro wants… Knock em down with heat and if want to fight send in the linebackers coming up the ranks… Even if lose will be fun at the yard

    • Cubbie Blues

      Something I can actually agree with. Well don Die hard.

      • Cubbie Blues


        • Jp3

          Wait I like it Don Die Hard. Sounded better the 1st time cubbie blues

        • wvcubsfan

          How about Medium Well Die Hard, just not quite well done.

      • Die hard

        Hmmm.. Must be losing my touch if people agree… Will work harder next time

        • Bilbo161

          Now that’s undertainment. Free word games! :)

          • takeonedown


  • jt

    replacing farm guys with almost just about zero potential with guys with an iota of potential isn’t much of an improvement but it is improvement.

    • Jay

      Hey, it basically cost us nothing. Right now, Theo is just throwing gathering piles of coal in the hopes that there’s a diamond hiding in one of them. Got nothing to lose.

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  • randy jones

    I think its funny we pick up theses other pitchers that crapped out on other teams. Oh I forget we have the best pitching coaches in the game and they can make them better. LOL
    We have picked up so much crap already this year. Has any of it worked out.

  • cubfanincardinalland

    how many teams wish they had picked up Kevin Gregg? And rondon was popping the mitt at 96 mph last night, he has huge upside.

    • randy jones

      point is we have a crap team. If you have a good team, you are not always picking up other teams heaps of doo looking for a miracle. … Rondon should not be on the big club- maybe double triple a
      Wouldnt you agree

  • macpete22

    Raley called up with Putnam on DL, Rodriguez not here until Friday.
    Rodriguez actually played for the Cougars, kind of funny he was traded for someone who was on the Cougars at the time

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  • Kenster

    Look I called it! Knew the Cubs wouldn’t pass on that one

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