The tweets are tweeting like mad as I write—Fox Sports reporting the Houston Astros sending lefthanded pitcher Wandy Rodriguez to the Pittsburgh Pirates for minor leaguers Robbie Grossman, Rudy Owens, and Colton Cain. (Minor league infielder Alen Hanson was originally thought to be part of the package, but wasn’t.) The Astros are serious about rebuilding through the farm; the Pirates are serious about making a real race for it this year. Grossman was posting a .778 OPS at the Pirates’ AA affiliate, according to Fox’s Jon Morosi.
Rodriguez has a 7-9/3.79 ERA record this season and a year left on his current contract with a player option at the same salary ($13 million) for 2014, meaning the Astros will likely include cash with the deal since Rodriguez’s option vests automatically upon his trade, according to Sports Illustrated.
Meanwhile, it isn’t just the tweets: the Arizona Diamondbacks designated third baseman Ryan Roberts—a fan favourite in 2011, when he hit 19 bombs, stole 18 pads, and helped the Snakes’ worst-to-first NL West conquest—for assignment, possibly as precursor to a trade. Some reports have the Tampa Bay Rays as the likely winner in any trade. Arizona plans to platoon Willie Bloomquist and rookie Ryan Wheeler, for whom they needed roster room as they hope to get a good look at the prospect, who led the minors with 90 RBI when he was promoted before the weekend.