Tag: Wandy Rodriguez

Wandy Rodriguez to Orioles: Latest Contract Details, Comments, Reaction

The Baltimore Orioles reportedly reached an agreement Friday with veteran starting pitcher Wandy Rodriguez for a minor league deal.

Dan Connolly of BaltimoreBaseball.com first reported the news. Roch Kubatko of MASN confirmed the details of the depth signing.

Rodriguez struggled across 17 appearances, including 15 starts, for the Texas Rangers last season. He posted a 4.90 ERA and 1.56 WHIP in 86.1 innings before getting designated for assignment in late July. He then signed with the Kansas City Royals organization, but didn’t see any action in the majors.

The 37-year-old left-hander rejoined the Houston Astros, where he originally started his career, in January. He actually pitched quite well in six outings during spring training, going 2-0 with a 3.95 ERA, 0.88 WHIP and 11 strikeouts in 13.2 innings, but he didn’t make the final roster.

All told, Rodriguez has mostly been a replacement-level starter for most of his career. He’s 97-98 with a 4.10 ERA in 275 career games at the MLB level. He also had a stint with the Pittsburgh Pirates sandwiched between his time with the Astros and Rangers.

Connolly reported the Dominican Republic native is being sent to extended spring training in Sarasota, Florida. That’s a long way from the big leagues, but Rodriguez stated “all I ever want is a chance” during his time with the Astros, per Jerome Solomon of the Houston Chronicle, and that probably still holds true.

He added: “Every time I get a chance, I will make it the best I can. Every opportunity, I try to do the best I can.”

The signing comes as Baltimore’s rotation has battled inconsistency out of the gate. The starting staff ranks 22nd in the league in ERA at 4.72 after nearly a month of action, per ESPN. So it doesn’t hurt to pick up another starter with MLB experience as insurance.

Ultimately, the Orioles will likely decide how to move forward after getting a chance to monitor his stuff during the stint in extended spring training. Rodriguez can provide a reliable veteran presence at Triple-A and serve as solid rotation or bullpen depth, at the very least.


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MLB Rumors: Buzz Surrounding Mariners Trade, Wandy Rodriguez and More

After surviving two of the dullest days on the sports calendar, Major League Baseball returns Friday to save sports fans from a dearth of news and excitement, at least stateside.  

With MLB the only one of the Big Four American sports leagues in season in July—but on a small break after the All-Star Game—sports talk is difficult to come by on these long summer days. Sure, the NBA Summer League is in session, and the British Open began Thursday in Scotland, but other than that, there’s little to speak of at this juncture.

Even the ever-churning baseball rumor mill has turned quiet, but expect teams to have used the break to reassess, recalibrate and find out where they stand in anticipation of the looming trade deadline July 31.

Here’s a quick look at the latest chatter from around the league.


Mariners Reportedly In the Market for a Catcher

This one has been in the wind for a couple of days now, but the Seattle Mariners are reportedly looking to trade for a catcher, as Fox Sports’ Jon Morosi noted Wednesday via Twitter:

Morosi used the word “close” and even brought up a potential deal involving A.J. Pierzynski, who, at 38 years old, is having a resurgent year with the Atlanta Braves. Morosi did note, however, that the potential Pierzynski deal wasn’t related to the catcher rumor. 

However, Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times wasn’t getting quite the same vibe from his sources and said as much Wednesday, just hours after Morosi‘s report:

The M’s are 41-48 on the year, fourth in the AL West and 7.5 games back of the division-leading Los Angeles Angels. Starting catcher Mike Zunino has been an absolute travesty at the plate this year, batting well below the Mendoza line at .160 with a .292 slugging percentage and 100 strikeouts in 81 games.

Jesus Sucre has also seen time at catcher, but he has been a complete non-entity at the plate. The Mariners are an AL team, but in terms of production, their lineup looks like it has a pitcher’s spot—and it’s worse in some cases, per the Outside Corner’s Liam McGuire (via FoxSports.com): “Just how bad have Mariners backstops been? The club’s collective catchers are batting .150. The Mets (.176), Reds(.174), Giants (.165) and Nationals (.160) pitching staffs (> 100+ plate appearances) all have better averages at the plate. That’s horrendous.”

McGuire also noted that Seattle traded away the one person who might’ve been able to save the position:

Now the team finally got some help when they traded a decent reliever in Yoervis Medina to the Chicago Cubs for veteran Welington Castillo. Castillo had regular experience as a decent starting catcher with the Cubs and was thought to provide some stability for the Mariners behind the plate.

His tenure with Seattle last six games as the Mariners traded him to the Diamondbacks in theMark Trumbo deal.

The kicker is Castillo has been dynamite for the Diamondbacks. In 25 games, he’s hit five home runs (three more than Trumbo) with 15 RBIs while batting .286 with a .368 OBP. The Mariners could sure use that kind of production.

Pierzynski may be old, but his offense is light-years beyond what the Mariners are currently getting from their backstop crop. Neither Zunino nor Sucre can claim to have hit with much consistency in their brief MLB careers—although Zunino did slug 22 home runs last year—so there cannot be much expectation of a second-half surge from this position.

With the team also suffering from poor seasons from the likes of Mark Trumbo, Logan Morrison and Robinson Cano, one has to wonder if the Mariners should even try to play buyer at the trade deadline.

The best thing for this team may be to wait to see if the rest of the squad picks up after the deadline and try to salvage the catcher position through a waiver-wire deal, or it could punt on the season and try to find a viable hitting catcher in the winter meetings.

Rangers Willing to Make a Deal 

Perhaps the Texas Rangers can save the Mariners, per MLBlogs.com’s T.R. Sullivan: “Clubs are looking for catching. The Rangers are open to moving Carlos Corporan and bringing up Tomas Telis.”

But it’s hard to find good help at catcher, as Carlos Corporan is also suffering through a very poor offensive season at 31 years old. 

Corporan is a career .218 hitter, so it’s doubtful the Mariners would be inquiring about his availability. It’s easy to see why the Rangers would like to clear up a roster spot for Tomas Telis. The 24-year-old catcher is hitting .291 with five home runs and 25 RBI in 70 games at Triple-A Round Rock this year, although his production at the plate has slowed in recent months, hitting just .242 in June and .273 thus far in July, per MiLB.com.

Corporan might be a suitable backup for a team looking to add depth at catcher, but he’s no answer to the Mariners’ woes. He’s also apparently not the only player the Rangers are shopping around, per Sullivan: “The Rangers have found there is some interest in left-handed pitcher Wandy Rodriguez, who starts on Monday against Colorado. Clubs have told the Rangers that Rodriguez could be a fallback option if they are unable to land a bigger name starting pitcher in a trade.”

Wandy Rodriguez, 36, has been solid if unspectacular this season, sporting a 6-4 record with a 4.07 ERA and a 4.14 fielding-independent pitching mark (FIP), per Baseball-Reference.com. There is always demand for a southpaw with even a halfway-decent resume. 

Rodriguez could end up going to a team that fails in the possible Cole Hamels sweepstakes. Hamels, also a lefty, has been the subject of rumor and speculation for some time now as a talented member of the moribund Philadelphia Phillies. 

The Los Angeles Dodgers could certainly use a player like Rodriguez. The Blue Crew has been without the services of lefty Hyun-jin Ryu all season due to an injury, and they should be willing to do anything and everything to maintain their control over the NL West.

Rodriguez doesn’t quite eat innings—84 innings pitched in 15 starts this year—but he would be a nice fix for a first-place team that has had to resort to “staff days,” throwing relievers out to start games. For a team with an already taxed bullpen and World Series aspirations, this isn’t a good sign. Rodriguez would likely be a Plan C for the Dodgers but an improvement over their current situation nonetheless.

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Ranking the 10 Most Shocking MLB Trades of 2012

MLB personnel moves are frequently prefaced by fan speculation, media probing or an executive announcement. Somebody usually spoils the surprise.

This article celebrates 10 exceptions to that norm that were completed in 2012.

The players involved ranged from future first-ballot Hall of Famers to lifetime reserves. The reasons for relocation varied, too.

However, they all understand what it’s like to be moved in a shocking trade.

Let’s review their experiences from the past year.

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MLB Trade Deadline 2012: Trades Will Keep Pittsburgh Pirates in Playoff Hunt

The Pittsburgh Pirates didn’t land any of this year’s most coveted trade chips, but they approached the July 31 deadline with a level head and the necessary poise.

Pittsburgh added four players either at, or prior, to this year’s trade deadline. Check out NBC Sports’ Matthew Pouliot‘s overview of the Pirates new acquisitions:

They certainly got more interesting with Travis Snider in right field and Sanchez replacing Casey McGehee in the first base platoon. Snider hasn’t been quite as much of a disappointment as everyone thinks—he has a .248/.306/.429 line and 31 homers in 835 at-bats—and he’s just 24 years old. Sanchez is a career .298/.390/.488 hitter against lefties. He’s been way off this year, but if the Pirates can get him straightened out, he’ll be a nice part-timer. Again, I’m not sold on the moves—Brad Lincoln was looking pretty good since a switch to the pen—but factor in the Wandy Rodriguez pickup last week and they belong in the winners category.

The only move he doesn’t touch on involves the Pirates flipping McGehee to the Yankees for Chad Qualls. Qualls has been designated for assignment once this year, and he probably would have fallen victim to the same fate in New York. He is carrying a 4.89 ERA into PNC Park, but his career ERA (3.84) suggests a possible turnaround. 

None of these moves jump off of the page and shake you. None of these players are “star” players, and the Pirates didn’t improve exponentially, but each player provides stability to the Pirate roster.

Adding Snider allows Pittsburgh to move Alex Presley to a permanent bench role. This makes the Pirates’ lineup more versatile and adds more power to their home run-happy batting order.

Snider hasn’t proven himself this year. He’s hitting .250 with three home runs and eight RBI in 10 major-league games this season, but the potential is definitely there. His Triple-A numbers are excellent (.335, 13 home runs and 57 RBI in 61 games), and he gives the Pirates another piece for their future nucleus (under team control until 2016).

Sanchez doesn’t provide the same potential, but he is coming off two very solid seasons. He has the potential to hit 20 home runs, and he could flourish in a platoon role with Garrett Jones at first base. They only had to give up speed merchant and defensive outfielder Gorkys Hernandez who was no longer a valuable piece on the bench.

Qualls and Rodriguez both add stability to the stable of Pittsburgh’s overachieving arms. I mentioned Qualls’ struggles this season, but he’s a solid middle-innings option on a young squad. Rodriguez is an above-average lefty, and those don’t grow on trees.

Some Pittsburgh fans may groan at the thought of these moves. The Pirates didn’t make the big splash that everyone was hoping for, but they got the job done without sacrificing anything important for the future.

For this particular organization, that’s what’s important. They’ve worked too hard to get their farm system back to respectable status, and they’ve spent too much time developing their current nucleus, to blow it up in one year.

Small market clubs can’t throw dollars and prospects around like it’s nothing. Each move has to be calculated, and the future always has to be considered. 

Pittsburgh did an excellent job of making the moves necessary to continue their playoff run this year without diminishing their future plans. In Snider’s case, they actually added a potentially valuable piece.

Expect Pittsburgh’s new players to keep them in the thick of this year’s pennant race. They got stronger in important areas, and the added energy will give them the momentum they need down the stretch.

Neil Huntingdon was in unprecedented territory for any Pirate general manager in recent memory, but he showed an acuity that comes with experience.

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Pittsburgh Pirates Trade 3 Players to Astros for Wandy Rodriguez

Maybe the Mayans were right after all.

How else could you explain the Pittsburgh Pirates trading for players?

On Tuesday night, they acquired Wandy Rodriguez from the Houston Astros in exchange for three minor leaguers, as MLB’s official Twitter feed confirmed:

Danny Knobler of CBS Sports reports that the Astros will pay “some” of the $30 million left on Rodriguez’s deal, which runs through the 2014 season.

The 33-year-old has accumulated a 7-9 record with a 3.79 ERA, 1.27 WHIP and .260 BAA in 130.2 innings pitched this season.

The Pirates are looking to register their first winning season in 20 years and are clearly pulling out all the stops. While the staff already ranks sixth in team ERA (3.48) and ninth in WHIP (1.27), there are concerns about the rotation keeping up the pace throughout the second half of the season.

Erik Bedard has been extremely inconsistent and has a 5-11 record, but Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports predicts that it will be Kevin Correia:

Correia hasn’t recorded an out in the seventh inning in his last nine starts and seems to be fading a bit despite the team winning his last four starts.

They might not be done yet, either. Fox Sports’ Jon Morosi reports the search for another bat is next up on the to-do list:

1992 was the last time Pittsburgh made the playoffs. Will 2012 finally be the year the streak comes to an end?

At the very least, finishing this season over .500 is a very likely outcome now with Rodriguez on board. 

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

Pittsburgh Pirates Reportedly Acquire Houston Astros Pitcher Wandy Rodriguez

The Pittsburgh Pirates have been a great team this year. With just one simple move, they got a lot better.

According to multiple sources, Pittsburgh acquired Houston Astros‘ lefty Wandy Rodriguez. Rodriguez is 7-9 with a 3.79 ERA this year, but opponents don’t hit well against him. Rodriguez has only walked 32 batters this year, although he has only retired 89 batters on strikes.

Pittsburgh has a good rotation, but it is inexperienced. Rodriguez adds depth to the rotation while also adding a pitcher who throws strikes and knows how to force weak contact. With James McDonald already in the rotation, Pittsburgh’s rotation just improved a lot.

In the deal, Houston received prospects Robbie Grossman, Colton Cain and Rudy Owen. Owen and Cain are pitchers, while Grossman is an outfielder. After selling their stars for a few consecutive years (and getting rid of Hunter Pence, Michael Bourn, Carlos Lee, Rodriguez and others in the process), Houston has stockpiled their farm system in hopes of future success.

Pittsburgh has a whole different perspective about the trade, though. The Pirates are contending for the first time in a while, and they are looking to add pitchers. A.J Burnett has always been inconsistent, and Kevin Correia and Erik Bedard have struggled to find a home. Rodriguez will add a lot to the rotation, and he will definitely be able to help if the Pirates make the playoffs.

If the Pirates don’t make the playoffs, he could help them next year. Rodriguez is signed through 2013 and would be in a Pirates uniform again next year (unless Pittsburgh traded him).

With a great bullpen, a solid offense (consisting of the game’s best hitter) and a much, much better rotation, the Pirates will definitely contend. Last year, the Pirates came out of the gates strong, but faded away in August eventually missing out on a playoff berth. This year’s team is more experienced, and they are ready to win now.

Thanks to Rodriguez, it should be easier for the Pirates to win.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

MLB Trade Deadline: Wandy Rodriguez Traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates

In the hopes of bolstering their playoff chances and taking over the N.L. Central, Tom Singer of MLB.com reports that the Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired left-handed pitcher, Wandy Rodriguez from the Houston Astros.

Pittsburgh will be shipping left-handed hurlers Rudy Owens and Colton Cain and outfielder Robbie Grossman to Houston, while Houston will be absorbing $12-$13 Million of the $30 Million owed to Rodriguez throughout the remainder of his current contract.

Rodriguez, who has had a stellar career in Houston, has gone 7-9 with a 3.79 ERA for the Astros this season. The Astros are 34-63 this year and have struggled mightily in the last year before switching over to the American League.

Wandy Rodriguez will join a Pittsburgh pitching staff that has helped lead their team to a 54-41 record while maintaining a 3.46 team ERA, sixth best in all of baseball.

The Pirates maintained a similar record last season at the trade deadline, before falling fast after they made major trades that they hoped would push them over the hump.

They hope to avoid repeating history this season. The team has been playing excellent ball lately, and Rodriguez is sure to only add to that stellar play.

It was the offense that was holding the team back last season. The offense looks to be finding it’s way and finding it’s groove with MVP candidate Andrew McCutchen at the helm.

Look for Pittsburgh to continue giving Cincinnati a challenge in the coming months.

Read more MLB news on BleacherReport.com

5 Impact Players the St. Louis Cardinals Could Trade Shelby Miller For

If the St. Louis Cardinals are considering dealing the organization’s top-pitching prospect, Shelby Miller, there are a handful of potentially available pitchers they could go after.

While there is no guarantee they would be willing to part ways with him, his performance in 2012 has at least shown that he is not untouchable.

His last start was a major improvement, but he has not easily made the transition to Triple-A baseball.

Miller is 4-8 on the season with a 5.79 ERA with the Memphis Redbirds. In 82.1 innings pitched through 18 starts, the 21-year-old RHP has surrendered 17 home runs and 46 walks.

On the positive side, he also has 94 strikeouts. He still has some nasty pitches, but has not responded well to the improved hitting of the Pacific Coast League. Opposing batters are hitting .280 off of him to date.

Don’t let his record fool you. Miller still has what it takes to develop into a top-tier major league pitcher.

While his trade value might not be what it would have been last year, many clubs still know what he is capable of when he gets back on track.

If the Cardinals did decide to move him, what kind of impact players could they get?

In the case of most top-tier starting pitchers, Miller alone won’t make a deal. Following are a list of pitchers that might make the Cardinals more likely to move Miller.

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Top 5 MLB Pitchers Under Six Feet Tall

According to government data, the average American male stands 5’9” tall. The average MLB pitcher is considerably taller, at over 6’2“.

Yet, as with many things, there are notable exceptions to the rule. Some of MLB’s top starters and closers this season are not much taller than the rest of us average American males.

Turn the page for five of 2012’s best pitchers who are listed at 5’11” or shorter.

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MLB Trade Scenarios: Top Starters Likely to Be Available at the Deadline

The MLB trade deadline brings excitement each summer as contenders try to improve their team while pretenders look to the future.

The saying in baseball is that you can’t have too much pitching, so starting pitchers are always at high demand around the deadline.

An elite starting pitcher can be the difference in reaching the postseason or making a run at a World Series Championship.

Cliff Lee was traded at the deadline to the Texas Rangers a few years ago and led them all the way to the World Series.

There doesn’t appear to be a pitcher on Lee’s level, but there are good pitchers that should become available by the deadline.

Let’s take a look at some of the top starting pitchers who could help your baseball team get to the next level.

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