The Brewers announced just prior to Tuesday night’s first pitch that relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez had been traded.
Doug Melvin reportedly set today as a deadline for teams to make their best and final offers for the Brewers’ closer. With teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers, Texas Rangers, and Boston Red Sox getting involved in the mix, it was the Baltimore Orioles who stepped up with an offer that Melvin deemed the best.
In exchange for the services of the 31-year-old veteran right-hander, the Brewers received a 21-year-old prospect at third base named Nick Delmonico. Delmonico, who stands 6’2″ tall, was hitting .244/.351/.471 at the time of the trade with 13 home runs and 30 RBI. He bats left-handed which is certainly a plus but more so than anything he joins an organization which is very thin in prospects at the hot corner.
Delmonico was originally listed as a 1B/2B combo defensively after being drafted in the 6th round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft out of Farragut High School in Knoxville, Tennessee.
Here are the notes from MLB.com’s Top Prospects website which had Delmonico ranked as the Orioles 5th best prospect entering 2013.
Scouting Grades* (present/future): Hit: 3/5 | Power: 3/5 | Run: 3/3 | Arm: 5/5 | Field: 5/5 | Overall: 4/5
This Tennessee high school product grew up around the game, with his father, Rod, a longtime college coach and his brother, Tony, having spent time in the Dodgers organization. Nick played all over the infield in high school, and even caught some, but as a pro he’s only seen time on the right side of the infield, with more time spent at first than at second. Some feel his skills are best suited for third. Wherever he plays defensively, it’s his bat that will move him up the ladder. He has the chance to hit for average and at least average power from the left side of the plate. He has an advanced approach and isn’t afraid to take a walk. Delmonico was the South Atlantic League All-Star Game MVP, but his season was cut short because of a knee injury. A full healthy season could enable him to start moving a little more quickly.
(For what it’s worth, Baseball America had Delmonico listed 4th on the list of top Orioles prospects.)
Delmonico is reportedly expected to join the Class-A Advanced Brevard County Manatees of the Florida State League. He had been playing at the Class-A Advanced affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles.
***UPDATE*** The following is the Brewers’ official press release about the trade.
The Milwaukee Brewers have acquired third baseman Nick Delmonico from Baltimore in exchange for right-handed reliever Francisco Rodriguez. The announcement was made by President of Baseball Operations and General Manager Doug Melvin.
Delmonico, 21, was selected by the Orioles in the sixth round of the 2011 First-Year Player Draft. He batted .249 with 11 HR and 54 RBI in 95 games last season at Class-A Delmarva, his first professional season. He tied for the team lead in home runs and ranked second on the club in RBI as he was selected to the South Atlantic League mid-season All-Star team. Delmonico, who entered 2013 as the fourth-best prospect in the Orioles organization according to Baseball America, batted .244 with 13 HR and 30 RBI in 60 games at Class-A Frederick this season. His 13 homers led the team.
“We appreciate Francisco’s character and performance as a member of the Brewers,” said Melvin. “In Nick Delmonico, we are getting a young left-handed hitting prospect that we liked as an amateur and have continued to follow and like as a professional. We are happy to add him to the organization.”
Rodriguez, 31, went 1-1 with a 1.09 ERA in 25 games with the Brewers this season, going 10-for-10 in save opportunities. His 304 career saves tie Jeff Montgomery for 21st on the all-time Major League list.
***END OF UPDATE***