Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Astros sign Wandy to big ol' deal

So by now you've already heard or read that the Astros signed Wandy to a three-year, $34 million deal with a 4th-year option that could increase the total deal to $44.5m.

First, some reaction:

“I’ve been waiting for it for a long time. I feel at home here with the Houston Astros.”

“On a lot of different fronts, I think it’s the right thing for everyone. We have one of the top lefthanded pitchers in baseball going out for us every fifth day for the next three years — hopefully the next four and beyond.”

He doesn't have the kind of 97-mph stuff that sends scouts running to phone their bosses. That's a good thing for the Astros. Otherwise, they couldn't have afforded him and he'd be pitching for the Yankees...Actually, the Yankees would've given up on Rodriguez years ago because patience isn't their strength and he has required plenty.

...Given everything surrounding the organization – a lack of talent on the field, on the farm, and, at least given many of Ed Wade’s recent moves, in the front office – as well as Rodriguez’s relatively advanced age, the odds are long that the Astros will get anything of real value for their money or years.

First of all, may I jog your memory back to January 19, when the County Clerk said the following:
I'm guessing that the numbers would start at 3yrs/$33m.

So. Boom. Anyhow, that link will take you back to our thoughts on Wandy's progression, and how Carl Pavano is the most-similar to Wandy, according to Baseball-Reference. In Pavano's Age 32-34 seasons (2008-10), he posted the following total line:

72 starts, 35-25, 4.49 ERA/1.30 WHIP, 94 ERA+, 279K:86BB.

Comparing Wandy's 2008-10 to Pavano:

90 starts, 34-31, 3.36 ERA/1.28 WHIP, 121 ERA+, 502K:175BB.

But let's think about this from a financial/long-term standpoint.

This makes Wandy the second-highest paid player on the Astros in 2011 (behind Carlos Lee, obviously), tied with Brett Myers if we have the contract details straight. But it also means that the Astros have their 1-2 punch for the next two years, possibly three (with Myers' 2013 option). Also, Bud Norris won't hit free agency until 2016, and J.A. Happ until 2015. The Astros have their rotation set for the next several years, especially with everyone expecting Lyles to do what he does, either later in the season.

So regardless of how much you like the deal, and FanGraphs - predictably - doesn't, it brings some stability to the rotation. It's possible the Astros are over-committed on the rotation. Because what happens if Fernando Abad kills it, or should Dallas Keuchel turns into the player that I hope he does, these commitments could hinder their progression. Right now the Astros have quantity, we'll just have to see about the quality.