The Astros put Wandy Rodriguez and Brett Myers on the waiver wire Friday, according to sources, which could make the early days of next week interesting for teams that need starting pitching help.
While Myers is almost certain to clear waivers, because of his large contract and poor performance, the word in baseball last week was that at least one team had interest in claiming Rodriguez. Rodriguez's contract is also big (he is due $36 million from 2012-14), but he has pitched reasonably well this year, with an 8-9 record and 3.50 ERA.
Rodriguez starts for the Astros Friday night against the Giants, giving interested teams another look before they would need to make a decision on a claim.
Players who clear waivers can be traded to any team for the rest of the season. If one or more teams put in a claim, the Astros would have three options: either work out a trade with the team awarded the claim, or simply allow the claim to go through, or pull the player back off waivers and keep him for the rest of the season.
The Astros would trade Rodriguez, but they've been telling teams that they won't simply give him away. While incoming owner Jim Crane wants the payroll reduced to about $60 million next year, the Astros believe that by trading Hunter Pence and Michael Bourn, they have already cut enough salary. They also believe that they could trade Rodriguez this winter, if they want.