Jon Paul Morosi of Fox Sports is reporting that the Boston Red Sox “have kept tabs” on Houston Astros lefty Wandy Rodriguez. The Red Sox are known to be in the market for a reliable starting pitcher and the Astros have been reportedly shopping Rodriguez and other veteran players this offseason.
Most of the Astros trade talk of late has surrounded slugger Carlos Lee, but Morosi told his Twitter followers not to forget about Rodriguez. The veteran left-hander figured to be one of the Astros most attractive trade chips but has yet to draw significant interest.
This weekend the Red Sox were able to clear $6 million in salary by shipping infielder Marco Scutaro the Colorado Rockies. Many expect Boston to use this money on a starting pitcher, outfielder or both. Possible free agent options are Roy Oswalt and Cody Ross, players the Red Sox have been tied to for some time now.
Morosi noted that the Red Sox would prefer acquiring a starter from the free agent market, but seems to believe they would also have an interest in Rodriguez if something else fell through.
Rodriguez has been one of the league’s most consistent starters over the past several years. Since 2009, the 33-year-old has averaged just under 200 innings pitched per season with a combined ERA and WHIP south of 3.50 and 1.300.
One thing holding up any trade is likely Rodriguez’s contract. The veteran is set to make $10 million next season and $13 million in 2013. Rodriguez’s deal also includes a 2014 option worth another $13 million that will become a player option if he is traded.
Houston has said they’d be willing to eat salary to accommodate a trade for Lee, and they might have to do the same for Rodriguez in order for the Red Sox to become seriously interested. It is said that Oswalt’s asking price has dropped to the $8-9 million range, and the Red Sox don’t seem to be willing to take on a 2012 salary any higher than that.