For all zero of you out there who get your Pirates news solely from me, the Pirates have traded for Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez
. The prospects they gave up are Rudy Owens
(AAA starting pitcher), Robbie Grossman
(AA outfielder), and Colton Cain
(A-Bradenton starting pitcher).
First let's look at Rodriguez. He's 33 years old and has posted a 3.79 ERA in 21 starts this year. He's got 6.1 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9 in this 2012 campaign. For his career, he has a 4.04 ERA, 7.5 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9. His best season was 2009 when he posted a 3.02 ERA with 8.4 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9. Obviously he's a bit past his prime, but he's still been a very solid big league pitcher the last few seasons.
The best part about it is that the guy is left-handed, which plays perfectly into PNC Park. He strengthens an already solid rotation, probably knocking Kevin Correia
back to the bullpen or off the team entirely. Chances are they'll throw him in the bullpen until they get a better idea of what they have with the new and improved second half Erik Bedard
The best part about this deal could be that the Pirates can keep Rodriguez through the 2014 season. He'll be 36 by then, but he'll probably still be a serviceable starter. The Astros are giving the Pirates $12.2 million to help with salary relief, which is huge. The Bucs pay Wandy $17.7 through 2014, which isn't bad at all if he produces like you'd expect him to.
There were rumors about the Pirates losing Alen Hanson
in the deal, but thankfully those were untrue. The loss of Owens, Grossman, and Cain certainly hurts the farm system, but it's not very crippling. With Jameson Taillon
, Gerrit Cole
, and Luis Heredia
, you can afford to lose a bit of pitching depth. The biggest loss in the deal was Grossman, who is hitting .262/.374/.403 this year but looks much better lately. The guy hit .294/.418/.451 last year and looks like he already has a big league sense in terms of plate patience. I don't know if he has the tools to be an all-star caliber guy, but he certainly has the maturity already, and sometimes that's the hardest part to get. We'll see where time takes Grossman, but don't be surprised if you see him helping the Astros in the big leagues before next year ends.
There's a good chance that Owens will be brought straight to the big leagues and inserted into the Astros rotation, possibly making his big league debut against the Pirates this weekend; wouldn't that be something?
If you care for my opinion, I'm all about this trade. Pitching depth is key for contenders, and Rodriguez is a great add. I love that he's left-handed and I think he's going to post some nice numbers in PNC Park. He will make his Pirates debut against the Astros on either Saturday or Sunday, and that'll be something fun to watch.
More later? Or on every other Pirates related website on earth.