Pittsburgh Pirates Acquire LHP Wandy Rodriguez from Houston Astros

By Troy Pfaff

The Pittsburgh Pirates have officially acquired Houston Astros left-handed pitcher Wandy Rodriguez. Wandy Rodriguez

Rumors started around 9:00 PM ET of the Pirates being on the verge of landing the 33-year-old and ten minutes later it was a done deal.

Wandy is 7-9 with a 3.79 ERA and 1.27 WHIP in 21 starts with the Astros this year. His strikeout rate is way down (career-low 6.1 K/9) from previous years and his ERA is currently the worst it’s been since 2007, but he’s a durable arm and would certainly be an upgrade over lefty Erik Bedard, who gets my vote for disappointment of the year despite his last few outings going relatively well.

The Dominican is making $10 million this year and is owed $13 million next season with a player option of $14 million in 2014.

Rodriguez could also replace Kevin Correia in the Pirates’ rotation. The 31-year-old is 7-6 with a 4.31 ERA and 1.29 WHIP. Correia has been largely average since signing a two-year deal with the Pirates before the 2011 season, though he has won each of his last four starts.

Regardless of which player he replaces, Rodriguez will solidify what has been the National League’s sixth-best pitching staff ERA-wise.

The staff has been nothing short of shaky as of late, though, after being near unhittable in the opening months of the season. Even James McDonald has had a few poor outings in a row, including Tuesday night’s five-run performance in a loss to the Chicago Cubs.

This post will be updated as we find out which prospects will be headed Houston’s way.

Rodriguez is expected to make his Pirates debut in the upcoming series against none other than the Astros.

UPDATE 9:13 PM: Jon Heyman is reporting the Astros have included some cash along with Rodriguez.

UPDATE 9:41 PM: According to the Pittsburgh Pirates’ official Twitter, the team sent AAA LHP Rudy Owens, Single-A RHP Colton Cain and AA outfielder Robbie Grossman to the Astros for Rodriguez and cash.

My thoughts: It looks like a fair deal from both ends. The Pirates get a solid starting pitcher who is under contract for another year and could return for 2014, while the Astros get a 24-year-old left-hander who is essentially MLB ready, a mid-to-upper level prospect in Cain and one of the better hitting prospects in Pittsburgh’s system.

It doesn’t look like a steal for either side, but a good fair deal.

UPDATE 10:15 PM: Here’s the breakdown of how much the Pirates will owe Rodriguez after the cash Houston will send over:

2012 – Pirates pay $1.7 mm of $10 mm

2013 – Pirates pay $8.5 mm of $13 mm

2014 – If Rodriguez exercises option, Pirates pay $7.5 mm of $13 mm

Follow Troy on Twitter @TroyPfaff for more Pittsburgh Pirates content

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