So the question Astros fans want answered is what they can expect to get in return. Unfortunately, it doesn't look like it is as much as they might hope. I have come up with a couple of trades that have taken place at the deadline the past few years that could be comparable to what the Astros might receive in return.
This season Wandy is 6-7 with an ERA of 3.60 and 100 strikeouts, which is on par for what he has done over his career. He has generally had a .500 record with his highest win total coming in 2009 when he had 14. He has a career ERA of 4.12 but over the past four years, including this one, he hasn't had an ERA higher than 3.60 and going as low as 3.02, again back in 2009.
He is currently 32 years of age and signed a contract extension this past season. It was a three year deal, with a fourth year as a team option. However, if he is traded that option becomes a player option worth $13 million. This type of contract will certainly hurt the Astros chances of bringing back quality prospects.
It is being reported that Edwin Jackson will once again be traded this time to Toronto, who will then move him to St. Louis in a three team deal. In this trade, Jackson along with Mark Teahan will be traded to Toronto for reliever Jason Frasor and starter Zach Stewart.
Stewart was ranked fourth back in January in the Blue Jays system and Frasor has been a servicable bullpen arm with an ERA of 2.98 this year. The rumor is that Jackson will then be traded to St. Louis for starting center fielder Colby Rasmus.
There are two things that hurt Rodriguez's value and why Jackson can attract better return and that is his age and his contract. Jackson is five years younger than Rodriguez and does not have the large price tag that Rodriguez has. Jackson's contract runs out at the end of this year while Rodriguez will be owed $36 million after this season.
Last season, the Cubs traded lefty Ted Lilly, along with Ryan Theriot, to the Dodgers for Blake DeWitt, Brett Wallach and Kyle Smit. This is a good trade to look at as Lilly and Rodriguez are pretty comparable players. They are both in their mid-30s, have sizable contracts and have similar career statistics.
Dewitt has been an average bench player for the Cubs, hitting only .252 since being traded. Wallach currently has an ERA close to six at the Class A plus level and Kyle Smit who is 2-0 at the Double A level but also has ERA approaching six.
Jake Westbrook was traded last season from the Indians to the Cardinals for pitcher Corey Kluber. Westbrook was viewed as a back of the rotation type pitcher and has a similar career ERA at 4.34 and has had a win-loss record around .500 for most of his career. Kluber has not really panned out for the Indians who is currently 4-7 with an ERA of 6.05 at the Triple-A level.
The difference between Rodriguez and Westbrook is that the Astros believe Rodriguez has more value and is not a back of the rotation type pitcher. Again the contract will hurt the return the Astros could expect.
The best chance for the Astros to get a decent return would be to package Rodriguez with another player, like Clint Barmes. A team that makes perfect sense for both these players is the Arizona Diamondbacks.
It was reported a few days ago the two teams were discussing a possible trade for Clint Barmes and with the recent injury to Stephen Drew, it creates a perfect opportunity to include Barmes. By including the shortstop they could get better quality prospects and would be giving up a player who doesn't fit into the long term future of the team.
If I am GM Ed Wade, I would center my trade around Wade Miley, who is the eighth best prospect in the Diamondbacks farm system but is ranked number 222 overall according to the Scouting Book, and a couple more lower level prospects.