DENVER — The Washington Nationals swapped flamethrowing but erratic right-hander Henry Rodriguez for Ian Dickson, a 22-year-old Single-A right-hander from the Chicago Cubs on Tuesday night, thus ending Rodriguez’s two-plus-year tenure with the team.
Rodriguez, who was acquired by the Nationals before the 2011 season along with outfielder Corey Brown from Oakland in exchange for Josh Willingham, was designated for assignment last week and the team had 10 days to trade him, release him or get him through waivers and outright him to the minor leagues.
What the Nationals got in return from the Cubs in Dickson, a 35th round selection from the 2011 draft who has not pitched above Single-A, simply shows how far Rodriguez’s stock had fallen since his last trade.
A power right-hander who possesses filthy offspeed and breaking pitches, Rodriguez’s talent tantalized the Nationals from the moment they acquired him.
But outside of a brief stretch at the beginning of the 2012 season, when he saved nine games with Drew Storen and Brad Lidge out with injuries, Rodriguez could never consistently harness his ability in a Nationals uniform.
Dickson went 2-2 with one save and 8.2 strikeouts per nine innings in 11 games (three starts) this season with Kane County of the Single-A Midwest League. He is 5-5 with one save and a 6.06 ERA in 26 games (18 starts) during two minor-league seasons.