The Houston Astros and left-handed pitcher Wandy Rodriguez have reached agreement on a three-year contract through the 2013 season, Astros General Manager Ed Wade announced today. The deal buys out Rodriguez’s final arbitration season and at least his first two free agent years. The agreement becomes finalized once Rodriguez passes a physical, which is scheduled for Thursday with Astros team physician Dr. David Lintner.
The contract is guaranteed for the 2011-13 seasons and carries a vesting option. The three-year pact guarantees Rodriguez $34 million. If the contract becomes vested, it will guarantee Rodriguez $44.5 million. The contract has a $1.5 million signing bonus with salaries of $7 million for the 2011 season, $10 million in 2012 and $13 million in 2013. The option is for $13 million with a $2.5 million buyout; if Rodriguez is traded it becomes a player option.
Now with over 5 years of major league service time, Rodriguez lost his salary arbitration hearing last year with the Astros on Feb 18, and thus was awarded the Astros offering figure of $5 million over his requested $7 million
SEE THE COMPLETE HISTORY OF EVERY SALARY ARBITRATION HEARING
“We’re very pleased to get this done,” said Wade. “Wandy is one of the top left-handed starters in the game. With pending free agency and its uncertainty, it made all the sense in the world for us. Wandy made it clear he wants to be a part of the Astros. Now, he’ll be here for at least the next three years and hopefully beyond that.”
“I’ve been an Astro my whole career and I’m happy to receive three more years from the Astros,” said Rodriguez. “I was getting nervous (about the arbitration process), so I’m very happy we were able to reach this agreement.”
Rodriguez, who turned 32 last week, went 11-12 with a 3.60 ERA (78ER/195IP) in 32 starts last season. He finished his 2010 campaign on an upswing, posting an 8-2 record with a National League leading 2.03 ERA (27ER/119.2IP) in his final 18 starts (beginning on June 24). He also finished the season by tossing 13 consecutive quality starts (after July 25), the longest of such a streak by an Astro since Mike Scott did so in 15 straight starts spanning parts of 1986-87.
Over the last three seasons (2008-10), Rodriguez owns a 34-31 record and a 3.36 ERA (201ER/538IP) in 90 starts. Among all Major League left-handed pitchers in that time frame, he ranks sixth in both ERA and strikeouts (502). Rodriguez has posted double-digit victories in three seasons in his career (2005, 2009-10), and has 62 career victories, which ranks third all-time in franchise history among left-handed pitchers.
A product of the Astros Dominican Academy, Rodriguez signed with Houston in 1999 and has spent his entire career in the Astros organization, compiling a 62-64 record and a 4.18 ERA (458ER/985IP) in 176 appearances, 167 starts, at the Major League level.
ASTROS, PENCE TO GO TO ARBITRATION
Wade also announced that the Astros and right-fielder Hunter Pence did not come to terms on a deal prior to end of business today. The club had imposed a deadline of today at 5:00 p.m. to get deals done with all arbitration-eligible players.
The Astros have submitted a salary figure of $5.15 million for 2011, while Pence has submitted $6.9 million. The mid-point was $6.025 million. The sides were $1.75 million apart. We will update as soon as the hearing date is available.
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