Quick Hits: Balfour, Wells, Pirates, Penny

The Astros signed Wandy Rodriguez as an amateur free agent 12 years ago today. The lefty, who turns 32 next week, is an extension candidate this winter. Here are today's links…

  • Stop by at 2pm CDT for this week's chat.
  • In his latest blog post for ESPN, Buster Olney suggests that Grant Balfour could return to Tampa on a one-year deal if the Rays assure him that they won't offer arbitration again if he's a Type A free agent after 2011. Teams other than the Rays have to give up a top pick to sign the reliever this offseason and it isn't helping his market value.
  • Vernon Wells explains to Richard Griffin of the Toronto Star that he's a different person and teammate than he was a few years ago, when he first signed his $126MM extension. He also admits that he may not be a $100MM player.  "Everybody would say I’m not worth the money and I would totally agree that I’m not worth that contract" Wells said. 
  • The Pirates are still looking for pitching, according to Jon Heyman of SI.com (on Twitter).
  • Some within the Cardinals organization liked the idea of bringing Brad Penny back to compete with Kyle Lohse for the final rotation spot, according to Joe Strauss of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch (on Twitter). The Cards weren't willing to match the Tigers' $3MM guarantee, though.

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