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Pirates Acquire Wandy Rodriguez from Astros


The Pirates have made their first splash as MLB’s Trade Deadline nears by acquiring Astros LHP Wandy Rodriguez for minor leaguers Robbie Grossman, Rudy Owens, and Colton Cain.

Rodriguez, 33, is 7-9 with a 3.79 ERA with an 89:32 K:BB ratio over 130 2/3 innings this season. He has a 1.8 pitching WAR so far this season, which would rank him third on the Pirates staff behind James McDonald (2.2) and A.J. Burnett (1.9).

Robbie Grossman, 22, would probably be considered the main piece heading to Houston in this deal. So far this year he is hitting .262/.374/.403 with seven home runs for Double-A Altoona. Last season, Grossman was the first minor leaguer since Nick Swisher in 2004 to score 100 runs and draw 100 walks in a season.

Rudy Owens, 24, is in the midst of his second season at Triple-A Indianapolis. He is 8-5 with a 3.14 ERA and an 85:25 K:BB ratio over 117 1/3 innings. His prospect status took quite a hit last season when he posted a 5.05 ERA in his first year in Triple-A following back-to-back seasons as the organization’s Pitcher of the Year.

Colton Cain, 21, is one of the over-slot high school arms the Pirates have been famous for drafting recently. In 2009, he signed for a $1.125 million bonus as an 8th round pick. The left-hander is 3-5 with a 4.20 ERA and a 51:25 K:BB ratio over 75 innings at High-A Bradenton.

Rodriguez will join the team Thursday when Pittsburgh heads to Houston and is set to make his first start as a Pirate against his former team.

UPDATE 10:14 PM:

Per Rob Biertempfel, the cash involved in the deal means the Pirates will pay just $1.7 million to Rodriguez this season. In 2013, the Pirates will pay $8.5 million (of $13 mil). And if player option is exercised in 2014, the Pirates will pay $7.5 million (of $13 mil)

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