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MLB Trade Deadline: Boston Red Sox Must Trade for Wandy Rodriguez

HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 19: Wandy Rodriguez #51 of the Houston Astros throws against the Kansas City Royals in the first inning at Minute Maid Park on June 19, 2012 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images
Benjamin KleinContributor IIIJuly 5, 2012

The past two series for the Boston Red Sox have exploited offensive woes, but the lack of pitching is still apparent. Boston needs to bolster their starting rotation by trading for Wandy Rodriguez.

The Boston rotation currently consists of an inconsistent lefty, a veteran who doesn’t get any run support, a surging youngster, a guy who can’t strike anyone out and a reliever. You can also throw an ailing righty and a highly touted pitcher that did not work out in the mix.

Boston’s starting rotation just isn’t cutting it this season and even though they’ve improved since the start of the season, the Red Sox won’t make the playoffs with these guys. Yes, the offensive needs to get going but the pitching is the real problem here.

By acquiring Wandy Rodriguez from the Houston Astros, the Red Sox would solve two problems.

One, they’d be adding an under appreciated left-hander who’s somehow made a name for himself with the Astros. Two, they’d be getting one of their under performing pitchers out of the rotation.

In 17 starts with the Astros this season, Rodriguez is 6-6 with a 3.54 ERA and is averaging 5.76 strikeouts and 1.89 walks per nine innings. Over his career, Rodriguez has usually struck out more batters per nine innings but has also walked more.

The Astros clearly aren’t afraid to deal some of the bigger names for prospects—they traded Carlos Lee to the Miami Marlins yesterday for two prospects (via ESPN).

Houston has made it clear that Rodriguez is available, according to FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. Boston also went to scout one of his recent starts, according to FOX Sports’ Jon Morosi. At least we know that Houston is willing to deal the lefty and that there is at least some interest from the Red Sox.

Rodriguez is set to make $10 million this season and $13 million in each of the next two seasons, according to Baseball Reference. The $13 million for 2014 is a team option, but it becomes a player option should he be traded. Regardless of whether Rodriguez would exercise that option or not, getting at least a year-and-a-half of a good pitcher would be worth it.

Boston has a handful of prospects that could interest Houston and should do whatever it takes to acquire Rodriguez. I’m not saying that the Red Sox should part with their top tier prospects—Xander Bogaerts, Matt Barnes or Anthony Ranaudo—but just get a deal worked out.

Boston can always rebuild their farm system, but won’t always have the opportunity to trade for a solid pitcher.

Acquiring a guy like Rodriguez is exactly what the Red Sox need to contend for a playoff spot. He won’t walk guys left and right, he’ll get batters out in a variety of ways and he’ll give Boston opportunities to win games.

If Boston doesn’t deal for a starting pitcher at the trade deadline, it’s going to be a very disappointing second half of the season. Boston must trade for Wandy Rodriguez to make sure that doesn’t happen.

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