Nationals trade Henry Rodriguez to Cubs for Ian Dickson; option Nate Karns to Harrisburg

Henry Rodriguez
Brian Garfinkel/Getty Images

The Nationals traded right-handed reliever Henry Rodriguez to the Chicago Cubs in exchange for right-hander Ian Dickson. After three years of hoping Rodriguez would develop into a dominant and consistent power arm in their bullpen, the Nationals have finally and completely parted ways with him.

The Nationals designated Rodriguez for assignment on June 4 and had 10 days to complete a trade, release him or place him on waivers. The Cubs took on the 26-year-old inconsistent fireballer and the Nationals acquired Dickson, a 22-year-old and 6-foot-5 pitcher in the lower rungs of the Cubs’ minor league system.

Dickson, a 35th round pick in the 2011 draft out of Lafayette College, posted a 6.68 ERA in 35 1/3 innings for the Cubs’ Class A affiliate Kane County, most as a reliever. He punched up a 8.2 strikeout rate but walked 3.8 batters per nine innings. Last season, he posted a 5.60 ERA in 62 2/3 innings over 15 starts for low-Class A Boise. Rodriguez’s trade value by hurt by his bouts of wildness.

He was a prized piece in the 2010 trade in which the Nationals send Josh Willingham to the Oakland Athletics for him and outfielder Corey Brown. In three seasons in Washington, he posted a 4.22 ERA over 111 games. He flashed otherworldly stuff but often followed up with pitches to the backstops and walks. He had a 4.00 ERA in 18 innings this season.

In a separate roster move following Tuesday’s game, the Nationals optioned right-handed starter Nate Karns to Class AA Harrisburg to make room for right-hander Ross Ohlendorf, who will be officially called up on Wednesday from Class AAA Syracuse to make the start. In three starts for injured Ross Detwiler after a surprising call-up, Karns allowed 10 over 12 innings, struck out 11 and walked six batters.

James Wagner joined the Post in August 2010 and, prior to covering the Nationals, covered high school sports across the region.
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James Wagner · June 11, 2013

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