The Baltimore Orioles are taking a flyer on an interesting arm from Houston in RHP Brady Rodgers. There’s reason to believe Rodgers could become an interesting trade candidate.
The Baltimore Orioles have signed RHP Brady Rodgers to a minor league contract. Rodgers was drafted by now Orioles GM Mike Elias in the 3rd round back in 2012 when Elias was in Houston. The Orioles should be bringing in any reliever with any interesting pitches, motions, or underlying stats. Teams are always looking to acquire relievers at the deadline and are willing to give up quality prospects that Baltimore desperately needs. Rodgers matches the description of this type of arm perfectly.
Rodgers has only thrown 13.1 innings at the MLB level and got his first taste of big league action since his Tommy John surgery in 2017. He threw 5 forgettable MLB innings in 2019 and was much better at AAA.
Even from the small sample of innings in 2019, we can clearly see what Baltimore is interested in. This is a great opportunity for both Rodgers and the Orioles because one needs an opportunity and the other needs to give innings to anyone with talent. Elias is familiar with Rodgers and remembers the upside he saw many years ago.
Rodgers average fastball velocity isn’t that notable at a below average 91.2 MPH. Looking deeper though you can see that Rodgers has three pitches with the high spin traits. Rodgers’ two most impressive pitches by spin rate are his curve ball and slider. Both of these pitches are in the top 35 of any pitcher to throw a pitch in 2019 at 2876 and 2820 RPMs respectively. While not as impressive, Rodgers’ fastball also has above average spin that was just outside of the top 100 in baseball. All pitching talent is there, it’s a matter of the Orioles coming up with a plan and Rodgers staying healthy enough to execute said plan.
The Astros were the first team to covet these traits and now every other MLB team is looking for the same thing. Spin rates don’t guarantee success, but if there is a GM who knows how to develop a plan for Rodgers to succeed it would be a former Astros executive. Rodgers is the horse in the race with 20-1 odds worth throwing a few bucks on just in case.
There are enough interesting traits about Rodgers that he could figure it out in Baltimore and be a valuable piece to a contending team whether it’s this July or next or the one after. When the Orioles become a contender, a future every day player could have been acquired for Brady Rodgers. Don’t believe it? The Orioles acquired two players in an innocuous trade with the Rangers that turned out to be Chris Davis (before he fell of a cliff) and Tommy Hunter. All it cost was reliever Koji Uehara.
So here’s to hoping Brady Rodgers is the Baltimore Orioles next Koji Uehara. For now, that’s the best O’s fans can hope for.