On Saturday, the Pirates brought back utilityman Sean Rodriguez in a trade with the Braves. Rodriguez spent the 2015-16 seasons with the Pirates, having the best year of his career in ’16 as he finished with a .270/.349/.510 triple-slash line across 342 plate appearances.
Rodriguez didn’t start in Sunday’s game against the Padres, but he did enter the game as a second baseman in the top of the eighth inning as part of a double-switch. He grounded out in his first at-bat, ending the bottom of the ninth inning with the game tied 4-4. Rodriguez came back to the plate to lead off the bottom of the 12th against reliever Buddy Baumann. With a 1-1 count, Rodriguez pulled a 90 MPH fastball into the left field seats for a walk-off solo home run.
It’s been a tough year for Rodriguez. He, his wife, and two of his children were involved in an SUV accident in late January. Rodriguez suffered a torn rotator cuff in his shoulder, which was expected to keep him out all season, but he returned on July 17.
The Athletics appear to be closing in on a deal for Mets’ right-hander Jeurys Familia, according to reports from ESPN’s Buster Olney. Nothing has been finalized just yet, however, as the Mets confirmed that they would not be announcing a trade tonight and Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic points out that other teams may still be in the mix for Familia’s services. It’s not clear what the A’s would be giving up in any potential deal for the reliever.
Familia, 28, has been pitching well this season. He currently sports a 2.88 ERA, 3.1 BB/9 and 9.5 SO/9 through 40 2/3 innings — across-the-board improvements from his last run with the Mets in 2017 — and has racked up 17 saves to boot. He’s due another $3 million for the remainder of 2018, and Rosenthal adds that the club is willing to throw some cash in the deal in order to guarantee a better return for the closer.
While the A’s have one of the better bullpens in the American League, sitting seventh-best with a 3.50 ERA and 2.8 fWAR, they still have a ways to go in order to overtake the Mariners and Astros for a postseason berth by season’s end. Familia’s contract expires at the end of the year, but he should provide enough short-term value to give the A’s the boost they need.