Right-hander Richard Rodriguez was one of the more prominent names cut loose before last night’s non-tender deadline, and now that the Braves have parted ways with the reliever, Jason Mackey of The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports (Twitter link) that the Pirates are interested in bringing Rodriguez back to the Steel City. Rodriguez posted strong numbers throughout his three-plus seasons in the Pirates’ bullpen, which made him a hot commodity heading into the July trade deadline. While Rodriguez’s peripherals didn’t back up his excellent on-field performance to begin this season, the Bucs were still able to move him to Atlanta for two young arms on July 30.
The righty still managed a 3.12 ERA during his 26 innings for the Braves, but Rodriguez’s home run rate skyrocketed and his strikeout rate dropped off the map to only 8.5%. Atlanta didn’t use Rodriguez during the playoffs, and non-tendered him rather than pay a projected $3.1MM arbitration salary. On paper, it would seem like a reunion between Rodriguez and the Pirates would work out well for both sides, as the Bucs would gain some more relief depth, and Rodriguez would try to get himself on track in a familiar environment.