Jan 25, 2011, 6:37 PM EST
Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reports that the Astros and left-hander Wandy Rodriguez have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a three-year, $34 million contract extension.
The deal also includes a vesting option for 2014 which could net him as much as $44.5 million, according to Alyson Footer, Sr. Director of Social Media for the Astros. Rodriguez, who turned 32 last week, was arbitration-eligible for the final time this winter, so the Astros have at least bought out his first two years of free agency.
Rodriguez has a 4.18 ERA over his first six seasons in the major leagues, but while he doesn’t look like a front-line starter on paper, only 10 pitchers (with more than 500 innings pitched) have a lower ERA since the start of the 2008 season.
1. Roy Halladay – 2.67 ERA
2. Adam Wainwright – 2.68 ERA
3. Felix Hernandez – 2.69 ERA
4. Tim Lincecum – 2.83 ERA
5. Johan Santana – 2.85 ERA
6. Cliff Lee – 2.98 ERA
7. CC Sabathia – 3.07 ERA
8. Zack Greinke – 3.25 ERA
9. Matt Cain – 3.27 ERA
10. Jon Lester – 3.29 ERA
11. Wandy Rodriguez – 3.36 ERA
Rodriguez figures to be a big part of the rebuilding process in Houston — and with Brett Myers, J.A. Happ, Bud Norris and (eventually) top prospect Jordan Lyles, they may actually be better than you think — but this contract isn’t necessarily something that would scare off another club should they decide to explore a trade sometime down the road.
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