Astros GM Ed Wade told Zachary Levine of the Houston Chronicle that the team has discussed a multi-year deal with Wandy Rodriguez, but not with Michael Bourn and Hunter Pence, who are further away from free agency. Rodriguez hits free agency after the 2011 season, Bourn after the 2012 season and Pence after the 2013 season.
Rodriguez’s representatives approached Wade about a deal during the season, but the sides postponed serious talks until the winter. A year ago, the Astros won their arbitration case against the left-hander, limiting him to a $5MM salary in 2010.
An extension would likely pay Rodriguez $7-8MM in 2011 and $10MM or more for each season of free agency the Astros buy out. Tim Dierkes suggested this summer that Joe Blanton’s three-year $24MM contract could become a model for the Astros and Rodriguez.
The 31-year-old posted a 3.60 ERA with 8.2 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 in 195 innings last year. It was the third consecutive season he has had an ERA of 3.60 or better and a strikeout rate of 8.0 per nine or better.