Breaking Down the Wandy Rodriguez Deal

I was sitting at a local restaurant here in Louisville following a walk-off defeat of the Web Gems, my softball team, when I saw this tweet:

#Pirates closing in on Wandy.…

— Tom Singer (@Tom_Singer) July 25, 2012

I didn’t even click on the link, but I thought to myself, “That would be pretty cool. Probably wouldn’t cost too much, and we should be able to get Houston to pay some of his salary.” As I said, I didn’t click on the link, so I wasn’t aware of just how close the Pirates were to completing a trade. But then immediately after, there was this:

#pirates get Wandy Rodriguez, source says. @Tom_Singer reported it was getting close.

— Jon Heyman (@JonHeymanCBS) July 25, 2012


So I’m sitting there, now thinking, “Awesome, it’s done. This is a good thing. It solidifies the rotation. Who did we give up?”

Source: Robbie Grossman headed to #Astros in #Pirates deal for Wandy Rodriguez.

— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 25, 2012

Awesome! We just got Wandy Rodriguez for Robbie Grossman!

Infielder Alen Hanson included in #Pirates#Astros trade, source tells

— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) July 25, 2012


Then it was made official. Wandy Rodriguez for Robbie Grossman, Rudy Owens, and Colton Cain.

First, let’s take a deeper look into Wandy Rodriguez. In his first four career seasons (’05-’08), he posted an ERA of 4.79. In his last four seasons (’09-’12), he has posted an ERA of 3.44. He is now 33 years old, but looking at just his fastball velocity over his last three seasons (89.6 mph in ’10, 89.1 in ’1, 89.1 in ’12), he doesn’t seem to be showing signs of losing it.

His contract has him signed through 2013 with an option for 2014 and Houston is sending over money to help the Pirates pay that contract. He has about $3.5 million left on his contract this year. The Pirates will pay $1.7 million of that. Next season, he is due $13 million, but the Pirates will pay $8.5 million. In 2014, which is now a player option because of the trade, he is due another $13 million, but the Pirates will have to pay just $7.5 million. The rest will be covered by the Astros.

He is not someone who will be an “ace” by any means, but he is a solid addition to an already solid rotation. He will most likely take Kevin Correia‘s spot in the rotation and I don’t think anyone could argue that isn’t an upgrade.

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