Wandy Rodriguez has exercised his player option. (Photo by: David Hague)

Wandy Rodriguez Exercises His Player Option

Wandy Rodriguez has exercised his player option. (Photo by: David Hague)

Wandy Rodriguez has exercised his player option. (Photo by: David Hague)

In a move that was expected, Wandy Rodriguez notified the Pittsburgh Pirates that he has exercised his player option for the 2014 season. The option was originally a club option, but was converted to a player option when Rodriguez was traded. It pays Rodriguez $13 M in 2014, and the Pirates are only on the hook for $7.5 M, with the Houston Astros picking up the other $5.5 M.

Rodriguez will be a wild card next year. He struggled to return this year, dealing with pain every time he tried to rehab his injured forearm. Eventually he was shut down for the year, with the goal of getting healthy for 2014. His recurring problems dealt with arthritis, which isn’t a good sign for his future. It’s possible that he could return and pitch well, but the Pirates need to view anything from Rodriguez as a bonus at this point. If A.J. Burnett returns, Rodriguez would be the fifth starter, with Jeff Locke as a backup if Rodriguez can’t pitch. So the Pirates aren’t relying on Rodriguez to play a big role next season.

UPDATE 6:17 PM: Rob Biertempfel has some updates on Twitter, noting that Neal Huntington says Rodriguez should be ready to go after rest and rehab this off-season.

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Tim Williams

Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.young.161 leefoo

    Since he has arthritis in that elbow, that may become $7.5 mil worth of dead money.

    I hope he pitches like the Wandy we all know and love, tho.

  • deacs

    They have insurance for him correct? How does that work? Does any of it get prorated depending on how healthy he is?

    • leadoff

      The insurance co. usually pays half to three quarters, there are different policies that the Pirates could have purchased. I have not heard it said anywhere that the Pirates took out any insurance policy on Wandy.

  • leadoff

    IMO, the Pirates are not building their pitching with the thought that Wandy will be a major contribute to it. So since if’s and’s and but’s are the major concerns of the media and the fans, I would not include Wandy in any of them.

    • http://www.facebook.com/lee.young.161 leefoo

      I just hate tying up all that potential dead money. That makes him our second highest paid Pirate, behind Martin, correct? And to not play? That stinks.

  • http://www.facebook.com/lee.young.161 leefoo

    I firmly believer NH is whistling in the dark. Arthritic elbows do NOT get better.

    • scrappy2499

      So true, I get to deal with it daily in my right elbow at the nice old age of 37…

    • SteveW

      There are a number of pitchers who have pitched well for 3+ years with arthritic elbows. By itself, that does not at all mean the Pirates don’t have hopes that he will be in the rotation.

    • SteveW

      A year after Sandy Koufax was diagnosed with elbow arthritis, he went 26-8 with a 2.04 ERA. His next season, he had a 27-9 record and 1.73 ERA. Treatment of arthritis in these situations is a lot better now than it was when Koufax was running up those numbers with an arthritic elbow.

      Not saying Wandy will do that – he won’t – but if arthritis is the only issue, there is no reason he cannot pitch effectively.

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