The Los Angeles Angels have had a ton of trouble developing arms in recent years, which is one of many reasons the team has failed to put together a winning season since 2015. One arm it looked like they were able to develop was Chris Rodriguez.
Despite battling injuries, Rodriguez made his MLB debut in 2021 for the Angels. He'd spend a majority of his time as a reliever, posting a 3.64 ERA in 15 appearances (two starts) and 29.2 innings pitched. He showed real flashes of being a guy the Angels could turn to potentially to start or relieve, but simply never could find a way to stay healthy.
Rodriguez missed the entire 2022 season and most of this season before making three rehab appearances. He did not pitch well before suffering a setback with his back injury. His velocity was noticeably down, and he just didn't have the same quality of stuff he had shown in the majors.
With Rodriguez clearly not healthy and not doing much of anything since 2021, the Angels placed him on waivers. The Diamondbacks claimed him in what should be seen as a great low-risk high-reward move for them.
Waiving Chris Rodriguez was the difficult but right move for the LA Angels to make
Rodriguez has made three minor league appearances since he last pitched in the majors in two years. He ended this season injured, and could begin next season on the IL as well. There comes a point where you just can't wait anymore.
Rodriguez, when healthy, has all the promise in the world. He has electric strikeout stuff that would make him either a dominant late-game reliever, or solid rotation option. Unfortunately, he hasn't gotten the chance to do either.
The right-hander is still just 25 years old, so the Angels parting with him is certainly not an easy thing to do, but they have every reason to believe that it's just not going to work here. If he finds a way to stay healthy with the Diamondbacks organization that'll be an awesome thing and I'm excited to see if he develops as well as the Angels thought he might. If he doesn't, then the Angels parting with him might not look so bad.
The Halos will need spots on their 40-man roster this offseason, and hoping that Rodriguez will finally find a way to pitch isn't the smartest gamble to make. There's a good chance he would've been DFA'd at some point anyway. It's a fine decision for the Angels to cut bait at this point, and it's a good move for Arizona taking a chance on him. Both can be true.