Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Astros, Rodriguez Agree to Extension

According to Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes, the Astros have avoided salary arbitration with starting pitcher Wandy Rodriguez by signing him to a three year $34M contract extension.  The contract which will pay him $7M in 2011, $10M in 2012, and $13M in 2013, also includes a $13M vesting option for 2014 with a $2.5M buyout.  The deal will be finalized pending a physical on Thursday.

Rodriguez, 32, was entering his final year of arbitration eligibility, so the Astros bought out his first seasons of arbitration eligibility.  Many expected Rodriguez to be a valuable trade piece at the July 31st trading deadline with teams like the Yankees and Rangers among the teams most likely to be interested.  Assuming the contract gets finalized (and I have no reason to believe it won't), the odds are fairly low that he'll be traded any time soon.  

Rodriguez has been one of baseball's most underrated pitchers for the past three seasons.  According to D.J. Short of NBC Hardball Talk, only ten pitchers have posted a better ERA over the past three seasons than Rodriguez:  Halladay, Wainwright, Hernandez, Lincecum, Santana, Lee, Sabathia, Greinke, Cain, and Lester.  There are a lot of great pitchers on that list.  Rodriguez's three year ERA is 3.36--and yes, it matches up well with his FIP, so it's not a fluke.  Last season, Rodriguez put together another solid season going 11-12 with a 3.50 FIP, 8.22 K/9, 2.62 K/BB, and 3.6 fWAR.  

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