"It makes all the sense in the world to at least consider it," GM Ed Wade said about the extension talks. Rodriguez is slated for his final year of arbitration before becoming a free agent. However, given Rodriguez will be 33 when the 2012 season opens, free agency doesn't hold the allure that it might for a young pitcher.
Rodriguez wouldn't get a large contract extension regardless, so if the two sides can come to an agreement on a deal similar to Ted Lilly's three years and $33 million with the Dodgers, re-upping with the Astros makes sense for both sides. Houston would be able to lock Rodriguez into its rotation at ages that it would be reasonably confident in the left producing.
Meanwhile, Rodriguez would be set up for life and not have to worry about making sure he has a strong season in 2011 for the benefit of free agency -- taking the ball when injured, for example.
Rodriguez has been one of the better left-handed starters over the last three seasons, but injury and spells of ineffectiveness make him far from a sure thing. Coming off a career-best 3.02 ERA in 205 2/3 innings in 2009, Rodriguez stumbled in the first half thanks to a 4.97 ERA. He was able to turn around the second half with a 2.11 ERA coming to a cumulative 3.60, but the warning signs remain.
Meanwhile, Wade ruled out long-term extensions for fellow arbitration-eligible players Michael Bourn and Hunter Pence.
"On Bourn and Pence at least, we're really pretty far from free agency," Wade said.
Bourn isn't due to become a free agent until 2013 and Pence 2014, so the Astros are understandably waiting it out to see if both players retain their effectiveness. Bourn is coming off a year in which he didn't play up to expectations while Pence was named the team MVP.
-- Evan BrunellFor more baseball news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsmlb on Twitter or subscribe to the RSS feed.