HOUSTON - MAY 18: Wandy Rodriguez #51 of the Houston Astros throws against the Texas Rangers at Minute Maid Park on May 18, 2012 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
This is being confirmed by multiple sources on Twitter. Alen Hanson was pulled from his game in West Virginia in the first inning. If related, I'd expect it to be a one-for-one with a lot of money coming the Pirates way. More to come.
UPDATE: 9:27: Wandy Rodriguez is making $10 million this year, $13 million next year and he had a team option for $13 million for 2014 with a $2.5 million buyout. However, with the trade, the 2014 option becomes a player option. I would expect $12-15 million to be coming the Pirates way in the deal. The Astros have shed a ton of payroll in the last few days and can certainly eat some salary to get a better return on the deal.
UPDATE 9:33: It is being reported by Jon Morosi that Robbie Grossman is going to Houston in the Rodriguez deal. That means Hanson is not going. No way it would be both.
UPDATE 9:44: Some reports were saying both Grossman and Hanson were going to Houston, but that has now been cleared up. Jon Morosi reports that the deal is Grossman, Owens and Cain. Lots of dollars are going to come back to the Pirates, but my initial reaction is favorable. The most important aspect of this deal is the Pirates potentially control him through 2014. The early pencil of the 2013 rotation is A.J. Burnett, Wandy Rodriguez, James McDonald, Jeff Karstens, +1--potentially Gerrit Cole later in the season.
UPDATE 10:13: Rob Biertempfel tweets the dollars involved and they are almost exactly as I guessed above. The Pirates will pay $1.7 of the remainder of this year's $10 million deal. (With about 60% of the season completed, that means the Astros are picking up roughly $2.3 million this year.) The Pirates will pay $8.5 million in 2013 out of a total of $13 million. (They also owe A.J. Burnett $8 million next year.) And they will pay $7.5 million in 2014 if the player option is exercised--which you can bet your house on. In total the Pirates will get about $12.3 million to offset the $30 million owed Rodriguez through 2014 and will pay Wandy $17.7 million.
UPDATE 10:23: It is being reported that Alen Hanson was pulled for not hustling tonight, not any other reason.
UPDATE 10:41: I view this a good trade for both teams. In the long run that is important in order for teams to keep dealing with you. The Astros have traded all their veterans and are in full rebuild mode. I think Jed Lowrie is now their highest paid player at $1.5 million. Them taking back salary was not a problem.
Rodriguez will slide in perfectly between Burnett and McDonald. Some, like Keith Law, have big expectations for Grossman, but he won't be up before September next year. Owens' lack of strikeouts is an issue but his command should keep him in the majors for awhile. I'm guessing he slots into the Astros rotation immediately. Cain, your guess is as good as mine. Interestingly, all three former-Pirates are native Texans (EDIT: Actually Owens was born in Mesa, AZ). Here is my interview with Robbie Grossman from Friday.
Here is a link to Wandy's Pitchf/x data. Loss of velocity is not apparent.