We’ve got a tight turnaround time before today’s 12:35 game, but I wanted to share some links to things people are writing about the Wandy Rodriguez trade.
Jay Jaffe likes the deal for the Pirates and digs into Wandy’s lower strikeout rate this year, which is mostly due to him throwing more two-seam fastballs.
Baseball Prospectus generally likes the deal for the Pirates, too, with Kevin Goldstein giving some detail about the players the Pirates gave up and RJ Anderson discussing what trading for Wandy means for the Pirates.
Tim Williams isn’t a huge fan of the deal, as he has some questions about how well Rodriguez can maintain his level of past performance going forward.
Tyler Kepner invokes the magic name that popped into a lot of Pirate fans’ heads last night: Zane Smith.
Keith Law “loves” the trade for Houston.
I’ve had some more time to let this deal roll around in my head a bit and I still feel basically the same way about it that I did last night: I like the deal for the Pirates quite a bit. Rodriguez gives them a real mid-rotation starter both for this year and a year or two beyond (his option vests into a player option with the trade, so he’s likely a Pirate through 2014). He’s a good fit for PNC Park and while his strikeout rate has dropped a bit recently, his groundball rate has improved pretty steadily since 2008. His velocity isn’t down, so I’m not quite as concerned about his strikeouts as I was initially. I’m not hugely taken with Locke or Wilson (or Owens, for that matter), and so I like the decision to add depth to the rotation here both for the present and future.
The Pirates are obviously taking some risk here by sending three decent prospects to Houston, but they also managed to make the deal without sending any of their best prospects away. It’s worth noting that people have generally used Grossman’s pre-season place in the system to discuss the deal, but since then, he’s been passed by Alen Hanson and maybe even Gregory Polanco as hitting prospects. This is important to mention; Grossman’s prospect status is about the same as it was pre-season, but his status in the organization has changed.
In any case, the Pirates are pretty clearly buyers here and while the price they’re paying isn’t necessarily cheap, like it was in the AJ Burnett or Derrek Lee trades, they’re also getting more than just short-term value from the trade. Where things go from here should be interesting; I don’t think Neal Huntington’s quite done yet.