Originally written on The Baseball Page  |  Last updated 7/20/12

As Wandy Rodriguez took the mound for the Houston Astros on Wednesday, scouts from the New York Yankees, as well as the Kansas City Royals and Detroit Tigers, were in attendance to watch the start, as Rodriguez is a likely candidate to be moved before Major League Baseball's July 31st trade deadline.


Though several teams are showing interest in Rodriguez, Wednesday's outing certainly did not help his trade value, as the veteran left-hander last just four innings after giving up five runs in an 8-4 loss to the San Diego Padres.

Rodriguez, 33, is now 7-8 this season with a 3.75 ERA. Houston currently has the worst record in baseball at 34-58, so the team is willing to dump any high-paid veterans to acquire prospects or shed some of the team's payroll.

Left-handed starters are always in demand and Rodriguez has proven to be consistently productive, but the amount of money remaining on his contract is what could hold up a deal from getting done. The Astros owe him roughly $5 million for the remainder of this season, then he is owed $13 million for next year with a $13 million club option for 2014. However, if he is traded to another team, the club option turns to a player option, which Rodriguez will most likely use.

For contending teams that need another proven veteran in their starting rotation, Rodriguez is a solid choice. Since 2009, his 3.39 ERA is the third lowest among National League left-handed starters with at least 75 starts. With Wednesday's four inning outing, he snapped a streak of pitching at least five innings in 48 consecutive starts, which was the longest streak in the National League and third longest streak in all of baseball. In the past three years, Rodriguez has pitched at least 190 innings, won at least 11 games, and posted an ERA of 3.60 or lower in each season.

With left-hander Andy Pettitte on the disabled list, the Yankees are watching the trade market closely for starting pitchers. However, the team is more worried about the situation in left field, with Brett Gardner having another setback on his elbow, so don't expect the Yankees to overpay for a starter.


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