The Philadelphia Phillies are close to a one-year deal with free agent lefty Wandy Rodriguez, according to a number of sources. One of the more reliable sources reporting this development is Phillies Spanish-language broadcaster Angel Ibo Castillo.
Admittedly rough translation: “Phillies and left-hander Wandy Rodriguez close to signing one-year contract. The business is not yet closed.”
Rodriguez first signed with the Houston Astros as an amateur free agent from the Dominican Republic in 1999. He then worked his way incrementally through the Astros minor league system, finally debuting in Houston in the 2005 season when he went 10-10 in 25 games, 22 starts.
In parts of 8 seasons with the Astros from 2005-12, Rodriguez accumulated an 80-84 record with a cumulative 4.06 ERA. He struck out 1,093 while walking 498, allowing 1,461 hits over 1,471 innings pitched.
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In July of 2012, Rodriguez was traded by the Astros to the Pittsburgh Pirates for 3 prospects while the Buccos were trying to make a playoff run. He went 5-4 for Pittsburgh down the stretch, but the club fell short.
Through two months of the 2013 season, Rodriguez was having a solid year for the Pirates. He was 6-3 with a 3.47 ERA over his first 11 starts. Then disaster struck in his first start of June at Atlanta. In the very first inning, Rodriguez experienced tightness in his left forearm.
He returned in 2014 and suffered a knee injury that limited him to just 6 starts through the first month and a half. The Pirates opted to DFA him on May 30th in a somewhat surprising move, and he was inactive thereafter.
This is surely a going to be an inexpensive signing for the Phillies, once details are announced. The classic opportunity for the pitcher to showcase that he can remain healthy and return to effectiveness.
For the Phils, who have lost A.J. Burnett and Kyle Kendrick from the rotation, and with Cliff Lee‘s health still in question, the pitcher, turning 36 in mid-January, is certainly worth a roll of the dice.