Wandy Rodriguez #51 of the Houston Astros throws against the Cincinnati Reds at Minute Maid Park in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
The Pittsburgh Pirates have bolstered their pitching staff by adding Houston left-hander Wandy Rodriguez.
Okay, so we just got fooled about the Ryan Dempster trade, which turned out to not be a trade at all.
But it's not often that our nation's accredited baseball writers blow one like that. So when Danny Knobler tells us the Astros have traded Wandy Rodríguez to the Pirates, we should probably believe him ...
The Pirates have acquired Wandy Rodriguez from the Astros, sources told CBSSports.com Tuesday night.
The Astros will pay some of the $30 million remaining on Rodriguez's contract, and the surprising Pirates will get help in their bid to make the playoffs for the first time since 1992.
Rodríguez is just 7-9 with a 3.79 ERA, but don't let those numbers (especially the wins and losses) fool you; he's a solid pitcher who's been wonderfully consistent (if not consistently wonderful) over the last few seasons.
Once Rodríguez joins the Pirates, someone's getting bumped from the starting rotation. The top candidates are Kevin Correia and Erik Bedard. Correia's got tenure, but Bedard's got the higher strikeout-to-walk ratio and has allowed fewer home runs.
Either way, though, Rodríguez will be an upgrade in that slot. And with the rest of the rotation consisting of James McDonald, A.J. Burnett and Jeff Karstens, the Pirates seem well-equipped to give themselves a chance to win most nights.
Performance aside, this might turn into a costly move for the Pirates, depending on how much money the Astros send along. Because Rodríguez is guaranteed $13 million in 2013, and at least a $2.5-million buyout in 2014.
Update: It's official!
Only piece left is the amount of cash.
Owens, Colton and Cain all ranked among the Pirates' 20 best prospects before this season. However, only left-hander Owens' stock has improved this season, as he's reëstablished himself as a decent prospect with a solid campaign with triple-A Omaha. For the Astros, this deal was about, in roughly equal degrees, building organizational depth and getting out from under Wandy Rodríguez's contract.