Rockies Claim Wandy Rodriguez From Houston Astros

***UPDATE***

Jon Heyman of Sports Illustrated is reporting that the Rockies have indeed made an offer for Wandy Rodriguez. The hitch is that Colorado would like Houston to pick up some of the salary. Given the nature of MLB trades, the better the prospect given up, the more salary the other team should be eating. We'll see which negotiator ends up coming out on top, or whether or not a deal actually gets done.

***

Ken Rosenthal of MSN is reporting that the Colorado Rockies have been awarded a claim on Houston Astros starter Wandy Rodriguez.

Rodriguez, 32, is having a very solid season for Houston, going 9-9 in 23 starts for Houston, compiling a 3.31 ERA with 125 strikeouts to 49 walks (2.55 K/BB).

The upside for Colorado is that they plug in a solid pitcher for the next several years, which will definitely be appreciated when you consider injuries to Jorge De La Rosa, Juan Nicasio, and steps backward with Aaron Cook and Jason Hammel.

There's no word yet on whether or not there will be a trade between the teams or if the Astros will simply let the Rockies take Wandy and his remaining $23M over the next 2 years ($13M club option for 2014, $2.5M buyout). Perhaps moving a prospect such as Christian Friedrich could knock a few million off of the remaining years of the contract.

This move is somewhat surprising, giving the seemingly obvious "end to the season" for Colorado after the Ubaldo Jimenez trade. Kevin Millwood was brought in to relieve some of the inning load on Jhoulys Chacin, Jason Hammel, and Aaron Cook while not exposing the weak "close" depth in Greg Reynolds and Clayton Mortensen. But with the sudden cracks in the armor of both Arizona and San Francisco, the Rockies may have found a way to sneak in and compete again in this division - despite sitting at a miserable 61-68.

Even if this season ends up as poor as expected, Wandy plugging in to the top of the 2012 rotation will also provide relief for guys like Alex White and Jhoulys Chacin, and hopefully create some buffer for Drew Pomeranz and Jorge De La Rosa as they make their way to the majors. In Pomeranz' case, the Rockies want to make sure that he's truly ready for the show and not rush him to the majors out of necessity. De La Rosa, having undergone Tommy John Surgery, is pretty much just out until May-June, as it's typically a 12-14 month turnaround on that surgery.

More details as they come.

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