The Houston Astros made a splash in free agency this week signing catcher Ivan Rodriguez to a one-year deal. Now don’t expect that all of Houston’s problems are solved and they have everything they need to reach the promised land. The move does however improve any chances Houston had at a division title or the wild card far more than anyone realizes.
Rodriguez adds a good bat to an already great offense. He adds great defense behind the dish, and most importantly, he is the perfect addition for a young pitching staff. Houston’s pitching behind All-Star Roy Oswalt leaves a lot to be desired and Rodriguez is one of the best in the business at handling young pitching staffs.
But perhaps Rodriguez will have his greatest affect on the aforementioned star, Roy Oswalt. Oswalt has never finished higher than third in the Cy Young voting, despite being one of the more dominant pitchers in the National League over the past few seasons.
A veteran that knows the game as well Rodriguez, that can hit and handle a pitching staff, and that plays more games per season than any other catcher, is perhaps exactly what Houston and Roy Oswalt need if they want to make a run at the postseason—and Oswalt's first career Cy Young Award.