Report: Jays 'optimistic' on landing Cuban righty Rodriguez
Rosenthal adds hurdles remain in his immigration status, which could be preventing the Blue Jays from completing the deal. On Dec. 29, ESPN's Enrique Rojas reported the Jays had taken the lead in the bidding.
Rodriguez, 26, pitched 56 games with Japan's Chunichi Dragons in 2022 and was lights out, recording a 1.15 ERA with 60 strikeouts in 54.2 innings out of the bullpen. He also pitched for Cuba during the World Baseball Classic, appearing in two games and turning in a 2.45 ERA in 7.2 innings.
Rodriguez pitched professionally in Cuba from 2015 to 2019 and joined the Dragons for the 2020 season. He did not report back to the club for 2023, instead holding showcases in the Dominican Republic for interested MLB clubs.
Rosenthal notes Rodriguez would likely fit with the Jays -- or any club that signs him -- as a depth starter, who could also transition back to the bullpen.
Rodriguez carries a 3.30 ERA in six seasons in the Cuban National Series and a 3.03 ERA in three years in Japan's NPB.
Former Blue Jay finds a new home
Waguespack, 30, spent the 2019 and 2020 seasons with the Blue Jays, recording a 5.08 ERA in 27 outings.
He signed with Japan's Orix Buffaloes in 2022 and pitched effectively out of their bullpen, recording a 2.66 ERA in 35 appearances that year. But he struggled with his control the season after, walking 4.8 hitters per nine innings and turning in a 4.76 ERA last season.