Astros Reportedly Pull Wandy Rodriguez Back Off Waivers

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Wandy Rodriguez Still With Astros

With Ubaldo Jimenez off the market, a number of teams looking for starting pitchers cast their covetous eyes toward Houston, where the trades of Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn made it clear that Astros management is blowing things up and starting over. Might Wandy Rodriguez be available?

He certainly was ... but only for the right package. And with the trade deadline come and gone, Rodriguez remains an Astros, no doubt because he's still owed $25.5 million after this season, and probably isn't worth quite that much. It's likely that  a deal was there to be made, but only if the Astros were willing to send along a few million dollars, too.

Which doesn't mean a deal won't eventually get done. Rodriguez will be placed on revocable waivers tomorrow, and most teams will be scared away from claiming him by his contract. It takes only one, though. If somebody gets just a bit more desperate for a starting pitcher in August, something still might happen.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Wandy Rodriguez Probably Not Leaving Astros

As the Sunday afternoon trade deadline approached, we saw a sudden flurry of late activity around Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez. The Yankees got in there. The Blue Jays got in there. Some other teams probably got in there. The Indians were even rumored to be closing in on an agreement. But according to both Jon Morosi and Ken Rosenthal, it looks like Wandy is staying put. Of course, Morosi and Rosenthal work together, so it stands to reason they'd say the same thing.

Wandy Rodriguez is a good pitcher. That's what makes him appealing. He owns a career 4.11 ERA, and it's 3.38 since 2008, despite pitching in Minute Maid Park. He could help almost any team's rotation. The problem with dealing him is the cost. The Astros signed Rodriguez to a three-year, $34 million extension last January, and to make matters worse, a $13 million 2014 club option becomes a player option in the event of a trade. So Rodriguez is good but expensive, and teams have been reluctant to meet the Astros' demands.

So Rodriguez probably isn't going anywhere. Today. He is a candidate to get moved in August in a waiver trade, as the Astros look to shed salary.

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Indians Interested In Wandy Rodriguez Deal?

The Cleveland Indians traded two of their top pitching prospects for Ubaldo Jimenez on Saturday. And if you're going to commit a chunk of the farm to one starting pitcher under contract for the next two seasons, why not commit the rest of the farm for another starting pitcher under contract for the next two seasons? According to Richard Justice of the Houston Chronicle, the Indians might be getting close on a trade for Wandy Rodriguez:

Hearing Astros close to trading Wandy Rodriguez to Cleveland for 2 minor leaguers.

And about five minutes later, he put a little damper on the rumor:

Wandy NOT going to Cleveland. That deal has cooled. Others percolating.

It makes sense that the Indians would go all in on pitchers; it makes sense that the Indians wouldn't feel comfortable trading away too many minor leaguers. It's the trading deadline! Everything makes sense! Except for everything else about the trade deadline.

It does seem likely that Wandy will be traded today, though, if how fast the rumors are flying is any indication.

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MLB Trade Rumors: Wandy Rodriguez Still Could Go, Yankees Interested

The Houston Astros have traded away Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn already, so it seems they've raised the white flag and given up on the season. If they were to go on a 24-game winning streak and the Brewers were to lose 24 straight ... well, anything can happen. The Astros aren't allowing for that possibility. It's a shame.

Wandy Rodriguez isn't a free agent next year -- he's signed for $26 million more over the next two seasons, with a $13 million club option for 2014 that becomes a player option if he's traded -- but neither were Bourn or Pence. The Astros had at least through 2012 to keep the band together, but when the team is already looking like a 100-loss team with those guys, it makes sense that a good-ol'-fashioned, controlled demolition might be the way to go.

And though Wandy might be a little pricey for some teams, he's good. The Yankees can do pricey and good just fine. So it makes a little sense, then, that Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Yankees have interest.

Wandy has a 3.47 ERA this season, with 106 strikeouts and 38 walks in 122 innings. He'd be a upgrade over Phil Hughes or Freddy Garcia, probably. But how much of an upgrade, and is it worth the money and prospects? That's something the Yankees will have to figure out, but if there's any team that could bear the cost of an expensive-yet-marginal improvement, it's them.

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