The Houston Astros recently placed starting pitcher Wandy Rodriguez on waivers, and before long, there was a bite, as Rodriguez was claimed by the Colorado Rockies. Attention then turned to whether or not the Astros and Rockies would agree to a deal.
It seemed like a long shot, though, and now Richard Justice issues confirmation that nothing's going to happen:
Astros pull Wandy Rodriguez back from waivers, no trade discussions with Rockies. He's with the Astros remainder of season at least.
By pulling Rodriguez off waivers, the Astros guarantee that he'll stay where he is for the rest of the year. The Astros are open to the idea of trading Rodriguez, but they wanted more from the Rockies than the Rockies were willing to give. It was true with the Rodriguez trade negotiations at the deadline, and it's true with the Rodriguez trade negotiations now.
Of course, you should expect the Astros to re-visit the trade market this offseason, when they'll be free to negotiate with all 29 other teams, and when there will be a great demand for starting pitching. Wandy Rodriguez is an Astros pitcher now, but check again in December.
But Rodriguez isn't Barry Zito. He's not Carlos Zambrano. He's an effective pitcher with a pretty reasonable contract. It wasn't likely that he'd make it too far on the waiver wire, and indeed, he was claimed by the Colorado Rockies, one of the first teams to have a crack at him. From Ken Rosenthal:
Sources: #Rockies awarded claim on Wandy. Talks ongoing. Will be outcome by 1 p.m. ET Thursday.
So the three possibilities are: a) the Rockies and Astros work out a trade, b) the Astros pull Wandy back and keep him until the offseason, or c) the Astros just give him away. It's a good idea for the Rockies to look for an Ubaldo Jimenez replacement if there's one dumped on their doorstep, after all.
If Rodriguez were on the free-agent market, would he command more than $36 million for three seasons? Probably, so either the Rockies pony up some prospects (ALEX WHITE AND DREW POMERANZ FOR WANDY?? omg) in a trade, or the Astros will be probably be better off just waiting until the offseason.
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.