The Astros made their third trade in five days, shipping starter Wandy Rodriguez to Pittsburgh for three prospects.
Rodriguez was the last member of the 2005 World Series Astros team. In return, Houston received minor league pitchers Rudy Owens (Triple-A) and Colton Cain (Class-A) and outfielder Robbie Grossman (Double-A).
Rodriguez has posted a 7-9 record with a 3.79 ERA in 21 starts this season. He had been talked about in trade rumors for a while, but his contract was a holdup for some teams. From the Houston Chronicle:
The Astros owe him approximately $4 million for the rest of this season and $13 million next season. The obstacle to trading him had been in part the $13 million club option for 2014 that becomes a player option if traded, essentially guaranteeing Rodriguez $30 million over the life of the deal on another team.
With the Pirates surprisingly contending for a playoff berth, they were willing to be buyers at the trade deadline. For the Astros, the rebuilding continues.