After failing to deal Wandy Rodriguez during the trade deadline, the Astros decided to put their 32-year-old left hander on waivers to see what kind of last-minute deal could be struck. The Rockies pulled his name, and now the two sides have 48 hours to come to an agreement.
The Rockies made a big splash by trading Ubaldo Jimenez in the much-discussed deadline deal last month. The team is looking to test its crop of young pitchers in 2012 but is expected to be in the market for an established starter this coming offseason.
If they acquire Rodriguez, the 2012 Rockies rotation would include two left handers in him and Jorge de la Rosa along with Jhoulys Chacin and Juan Nicasio. Colorado still has enough talent to be formidable next season, but the pitching staff will have question marks as de la Rosa and Nicasio return from serious injuries.
Rodriguez will not add a lot of payroll next season as he is due $10 million in 2012 and $13 million in 2013. His contract was scheduled to have a club option attached for another $13 million, but if he is traded it becomes a player option.
Rodriguez doesn’t give up a high frequency of fly balls, with an average around 35 percent, and should be a good fit with the Rockies in that category. This season he has been plagued by a poor defense in Houston that has registered a -5.0 team UZR/150 as well as a DRS of -32.
In comparison, the Rockies have performed substantially better, with a team UZR/150 of -0.9 and a DRS of 19. Next season, the Rockies are expected to have new additions at the corners as the team isn’t expected to pick up Todd Helton’s $23 million club option.
During this trade season, Astros GM Ed Wade has been busy. Both the Red Sox and Yankees were interested in acquiring Rodriguez, but a price was never close to being reached. The Astros will be looking to add more prospects, and with Rodriguez’s contract still considered “team friendly,” one should expect a few high-profile names to be mentioned.