Jon Heyman says that Wandy's contract is going to make it tough to trade him, even for the Yankees - who are very obviously God's gift to baseball:
The other starters on the market are mostly No. 3 or even No. 4 or No. 5 starters, and many of them are on bad contracts (even the Yankees are suitably appalled by the Astros' three-year deal with Wandy Rodriguez where the fourth-year club option turns into a player option if he is traded).
And on Crane and his expectations:
Incoming Astros owner Jim Crane is said to be asking their baseball people to get their payroll down to $60 million, which has them shopping both Rodriguez and Brett Myers. Both pitchers have undesirable contracts, complicating things. Myers' deal calls for an $11 million salary next year. Rivals believe Houston will keep Hunter Pence, one of the few attractive pieces it has.
So, just to recap: Last year the Astros had two incredibly attractive pitchers in Brett Myers and Wandy Rodriguez. Both were not traded, and then signed contracts worth a combined $53m+. Wandy's stock remains solid on a statistical basis, less so with his contract, but Myers' stock was never higher than it was in July 2010. That stock has obviously dropped precipitously.
In a year where the Astros pulled the trigger on getting rid of Berkman and Oswalt, they decided to hang on to Myers and Wandy, and that may come back to bite them in the rear end. Add to that, the player with the most potential for a greater return - Pence - may not be shopped at all. And add to that, Pence will likely make $12m+ in arbitration next season; if Crane wants to keep payroll around $60m, and Carlos Lee is making $18.5m, Pence and Lee will make up half of the total payroll for the Astros in 2012.
Good times are coming up!