JAN. 22: Rodriguez’s deal comes with a $1MM base salary upon making the Major League roster and up to $3MM worth of additional incentives, tweets Jon Heyman.
JAN. 21: The Astros and left-hander Wandy Rodriguez are in agreement on a minor league contract with an invitation to Major League Spring Training, reports Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes (Twitter link). Rodriguez is a client of the Wasserman Media Group.
Rodriguez, 37, will return to the organization that originally signed him as an amateur free agent out of the Dominican Republic back in 1999. Rodriguez made his big league debut with the Astros in 2005 and pitched with the team through the summer of 2012, when he was flipped to the Pirates for a package of Robbie Grossman, Rudy Owens and Colton Cain.
Last season, Rodriguez went to Spring Training with the Braves but wound up losing a battle for Atlanta’s fifth rotation spot with Eric Stults. The Rangers picked Rodriguez up and inserted him into their injury-riddled rotation — a move that yielded strong results for most of the season. Rodriguez posted a 3.20 ERA with a 50-to-23 K/BB ratio in 64 2/3 innings for the Rangers through his first 11 starts. However, the wheels came off in a hurry, as he’d go on to yield 24 runs in 22 1/3 innings over his final six appearances with Texas before being designated for assignment.
Rodriguez can serve as rotation depth for the Astros or compete for a spot as a long man or middle reliever in the bullpen this spring. Tony Sipp is currently projected to be the only lefty in the ’pen, so there’s certainly room to add another southpaw to the mix, although Rodriguez did struggle against same-handed batters quite a bit in 2015.