DALLAS -- The Astros may have an interim general manager (Dave Gottfried) as they work toward under new owner Jim Crane, but the mandate remains the same: Cut and chop as major rebuilding continues.
The Astros are looking to trade pitchers Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers along with outfielder Carlos Lee, and to get that task done, they're telling teams here that they'll pay half of the salaries of Myers and Lee.
Rodriguez? With pitching scarce on the free agent market, the Astros are holding out hope that they can make him their biggest score. Rodriguez is due $10 million in 2011 and $13 million in 2012, and the Astros as of now do not intend to pick up any portion of that.
Sources say the Astros will field inquiries while waiting for free agent lefty Mark Buehrle to sign. That will help establish the market and then the Astros feel like they'll have a better idea of what they can get for Rodriguez, who went 11-11 with a 3.49 ERA in 30 starts for Houston last summer.
Myers (7-14, 4.46) is due $11 million in 2012 with a club option for $10 million in 2013 with a $3 million buyout. Lee (.275/.342/.446 with 18 homers and 94 RBI in 155 games) is due $18.5 million in 2012, the final year of his contract.