Starting pitching is at a premium right now. Yet one hurler remains available via trade that should make everyone scratch their heads wondering what is wrong. Wandy Rodriguez has been a consistent starter for the Houston Astros who was placed on the trade block this offseason yet he remains with the team that wants to deal him -- a move that makes no sense given the current market climate in baseball.
Last year, Wandy Rodriguez went 11-11 for the worst team in Major League Baseball with a 3.49 ERA. At only 32, his numbers are solid across the board yet teams are instead wiling to pay for names like A.J. Burnett or trade the farm for a young hurler like Mat Latos. In between rests a guy like Rodriguez that most GMs should be fawning over.
Consider this. Over the last four seasons, Rodriguez has started 120 games for the Astros (30 per season) going 45-42 in that time with a 3.40 ERA. He's thrown 729 innings in that time, striking out 668 while walking 244. His WHIP is 1.285.
Few pitchers are going to be able to match those numbers, but apparently no one is biting. Zach Links writes, "Astros left-hander Wandy Rodriguez will be a top "go get" guy before the deadline for teams needing an extra piece. Astros people remain surprised at the lack of interest in Rodriguez, even with the club willing to pick up about half the $36MM owed to him."
Rodriguez is owed $10 million this season (less than Edwin Jackson signed for) and $13 million next season. On a better team, his numbers look even greater at an age where he's obviously still in his prime. An option for $13 million exists for 2014, although if he's traded it becomes a player option. Yet that's why the Astros would even pick up a lot of the tab.
Are the Astros likely asking for some solid prospect returns? Absolutely. Why shouldn't they? Rodriguez is a great grab that would help solidify any rotation in the Majors with an arm as dependable as any in the last few seasons. It's amazing how he's been passed over, but it's likely that someone will pay the price mid-season instead.