The Wandy Rodriguez Trade Market
Well, the Astros have a new owner and General Manager and it seems, an injury prone catcher. One thing that has remained the constant since our 2005 World Series run has been SP Wandy Rodriguez. I don’t think anyone would confuse him for an ace, but he is certainly capable of being a #2 and definitely a #3 starter in MLB. The problem is that his talents are being wasted on a team in transition. While Carlos Lee and Brett Myers can also be considered trade chips, Wandy is our last blue chip trade asset.
At this past year’s trade deadline, the Colorado Rockies put in a claim on Wandy Rodriguez. That meant that one of three things could happen. Either the two teams could work out a trade in the 48 hour time frame, the Astros could let Colorado have Wandy and Colorado would be responsible for the rest of his contract, or the Astros could simply pull him back off waivers. As you all know, the latter happened. Now the national media would have you believe that Wandy is mediocre and thus if a trade were consummated, the Astros would need to eat salary. The fact that Colorado even put a claim in on him tells you that is not true. As Astros County points out, Wandy’s stats aren’t very far from that of Mark Buehrle. The same Mark Buehrle who recently inked a 4 year/58 mil deal with the Miami Marlins (still feels odd saying Miami). Finding a suitor willing to take on his contract and give up prospects should not be difficult. The problem may be that there are other names who are currently on the market as well such as John Danks, Gio Gonzalez and Joe Saunders. Wandy’s name was being brought up a lot this past season as a possible mid season trade acquisition for such clubs as the Yankees, Red Sox, Blue Jays, Rockies and Rangers, but the chatter on Wandy had been very quiet until today.
A report from the Boston Herald stated that the Red Sox were interested in Wandy Rodriguez, among others. It has long been the opinion of yours truly that any trade involving Wandy needs to bring back a legit third base prospect. The Astros literally have nothing that even resembles a legit third base prospect in the minor leagues. I like the experiment of Jimmy Paredes at third base on the big league level, but I really see him more as a second baseman and maybe a shortstop in the long run. The Red Sox have a very nice third baseman in Will Middlebrooks, who they promoted to AAA late last year. Middlebrooks has more than held his own in the minors as last year, through three levels in the Red Sox system, he hit 23 home runs, had 94 rbi and swiped 10 bases while hitting .285. If the Red Sox truly are interested in Wandy and the talks get to a stage in which the two teams are discussing names, I have to think that Jeff Luhnow is going to insist on Middlebrooks being a part of the deal. Whether or not a deal is ever talked about between the two clubs or consummated remains to be seen but one thing is for sure, if he is traded, Wandy can and will bring back legit prospects without the Astros having to eat half of his contract. Don’t let the national media fool you.