Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Pirates Acquire Wandy Rodriguez

Tonight during the Pirates 5-1 loss to the Chicago Cubs there was work going on in the depths of PNC Park that brought Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez to the Pirates. The story was broke by Pirates MLB.com writer Tom Singer about twenty minutes before the deal went down. That was then followed by Jon Heyman:




Rodriguez has spent his entire career with the Astros which spans over eight seasons. He has been one of their top pitchers and has been sought after much of the past two years, with the Pirates looking into him this past offseason. Here is a breakdown of Rodriguez's stats:

Year Age Tm W L ERA G GS CG SHO SV IP H R ER HR BB SO HBP ERA+ WHIP H/9 HR/9 BB/9 SO/9 SO/BB
2005 26 HOU 10 10 5.53 25 22 0 0 0 128.2 135 82 79 19 53 80 8 77 1.461 9.4 1.3 3.7 5.6 1.51
2006 27 HOU 9 10 5.64 30 24 0 0 0 135.2 154 96 85 17 63 98 6 79 1.600 10.2 1.1 4.2 6.5 1.56
2007 28 HOU 9 13 4.58 31 31 1 1 0 182.2 179 102 93 22 62 158 5 97 1.319 8.8 1.1 3.1 7.8 2.55
2008 29 HOU 9 7 3.54 25 25 0 0 0 137.1 136 65 54 14 44 131 5 119 1.311 8.9 0.9 2.9 8.6 2.98
2009 30 HOU 14 12 3.02 33 33 1 1 0 205.2 192 77 69 21 63 193 5 136 1.240 8.4 0.9 2.8 8.4 3.06
2010 31 HOU 11 12 3.60 32 32 0 0 0 195.0 183 95 78 16 68 178 9 110 1.287 8.4 0.7 3.1 8.2 2.62
2011 32 HOU 11 11 3.49 30 30 0 0 0 191.0 182 81 74 25 69 166 5 109 1.314 8.6 1.2 3.3 7.8 2.41
2012 33 HOU 7 9 3.79 21 21 0 0 0 130.2 134 66 55 13 32 89 2 106 1.270 9.2 0.9 2.2 6.1 2.78
8 Yrs 80 84 4.04 227 218 2 2 0 1306.2 1295 664 587 147 454 1093 45 102 1.339 8.9 1.0 3.1 7.5 2.41
162 Game Avg. 12 13 4.04 35 33 0 0 0 200 198 101 90 22 69 167 7 102 1.339 8.9 1.0 3.1 7.5 2.41
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 7/24/2012.



Rodriguez is signed through the 2014 season with him getting paid $13M 2013 and $13M in 2014 that originally was a team option but since he was traded it turned into a player option. I would see no reason that he wouldn't exercise that option since that will be his age 35 year.

In return for Rodriguez the Pirates will be giving up Colton Cain, Robbie Grossman and Rudy Owens.

All-in-all I think this is a pretty decent deal both ways. Owens is having a nice year in AAA but doesn't  really profile as a top or middle of the rotation guy and Grossman had a tough start to the year but is the Pirates #8 prospect by Baseball America coming into the season. As Matt Bandi of Pirates Prospects said earlier Grossman is a nice chip to use because while he has the skill set to be a decent MLB outfielder he is a good outfield prospect but someone that might not profile as an everyday player. With the inclusion of three prospects I would imagine that the Astros are going to send some significant money the Pirates way to help with the $30M that he is owed going forward.

Rodriguez is left handed and in the past has been a pretty decent strikeout pitcher. So far this year Rodriguez has a 1.8 WAR and over the past five years, starting with 2008 Rodriguez has put up a 2.6, 4.0, 3.6, 1.5 and 1.8 WAR's. Over his career he has struck out about 7.5 hitters per nine innings but this year that has regressed to 6.1 per nine innings but while that may seem pretty bad the rest of his advanced stats show improvements. He is walking over a hitter less per nine innings and his HR/FB ratio is below 1.0 which is an improvement from last year when it was 1.18.

Rodriguez is a heavy curveball pitcher which is what the Pirates seem to like. What is encouraging is that his fastball has been almost identical the last three years. While his fastball isn't going to blow you away at 89 MPH if he can hit his spots he can be productive. He is also getting a ton more swings and misses out of the zone with a 33% O-Swing % which is the percentage of swings he gets on pitches outside the zone. His career O-Swing is 26% and has been above 30% in each of the last three years.

The Pirates will pay the following money to Rodriguez:

2012 - $1.7M
2013 - $8.5M
2014  - $7.5M (If Rodriguez exercises the player option)

That means that the Astros are going to pay around $12M as a part of the deal. I call that pretty significant.

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