Cole Hamels Extended, Hanley Ramirez To LA & Analysts Rate Pirates' Acquisition Of Wandy Rodriguez

HOUSTON TX - JULY 24: Wandy Rodriguez #51 of the Houston Astros says goodbye to catcher Jason Castro in the 5th inning after learning that he has been traded to the Pittsburgh Pirates during a game at Minute Maid Park on July 24, 2012 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)

Don't go to sleep, something might be gaining on you ... or something like that.

Wow, there has been a ton of news around MLB in the last 12 hours. Let's get the non-Pirates stuff out of the way. Alex Rodriguez broke his hand after getting hit by a pitch in the Yankees game last night. He'll be placed on the DL and is expected to miss six to eight weeks.

Cole Hamels has signed a six-year, $144 million deal that includes a seventh year that could push the total deal to $160 million. As David Pinto said, "Cole Hard Cash." The Phillies will now become the first team ever to pay four players -- Cliff Lee, Roy Halladay, Hamels and Ryan Howard -- over $20 million each in one season, with Hamels getting the second-highest average annual value contract for a pitcher behind C.C. Sabathia. The Phils low-balled Hamels with a six-year, $80 million deal last year. Think they would like to replay that card?

Jeffrey Loria, committed to a winning team in South Florida after getting a new stadium, reverses course. Shocking. Hanley Ramirez was moved to the Dodgers overnight. Ramirez feels like an older version of Justin Upton right now. He's 28 with a .752 OPS this season. He is scheduled to make $31.5 million the next two years. Looks like a low-risk win for the Dodgers, as they didn't give up much in the way of prospects, and they can easily handle the salary. They needed a bat to add to Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier.

Oh, and after striking out the side last night, Aroldis Chapman has struck out 30 of the last 45 batters he has faced. I'm going to go out on a limb and say there is no way that has ever happened in the history of the game.

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Lots of reaction to the Pirates acquisition of Wandy Rodriguez overnight. I'll reiterate that I like the deal for both teams. The Astros have lost 21 of their last 23 and have now moved Carlos Lee, Brett Myers, a package of J.A. Happ / David Carpenter / Brandon Lyon, and Rodriguez and gotten 13 players in return. Kudos to new GM Jeff Luhnow for acting so boldly. And good luck in the American League.

The Astros are 240-344 since 2009, 104 games under .500. Wandy Rodriguez was 43-44. Pitcher wins may not mean much, but that stat is pretty illustrative.

Tyler Kepner invokes the Pirates' moves to acquire lefties back in the day. Rob Neyer looks to see if those moves paid off and speculates on this one. R.J. Anderson and Kevin Goldstein chime in for Baseball Prospectus. Goldstein calls Cain the "upside play in the group." I'll respectfully disagree. I think Cain is the wild card in the group with Grossman being the upside play.

Keith Law tweeted last night that he loves the deal for Houston and I'm sure he will be writing more today which I'll link to when he does.

Finally, Jay Jaffe takes a good, in-depth look at Wandy and the deal for SI.com and speculates that arm injuries early last year may have changed Rodriguez's approach to be a bit more pitch-to-contact. He points to the slightly lower strikeout rate, but also the lower walk rate and increased GB rate. The takeaway for me?

Beyond this season the Pirates appear to have obtained a mid-rotation staple at a significant discount.

Exactly.

UPDATE: Dave Schoenfield of the Sweet Spot blog on ESPN.com also looks at the deal and calls it a win-win. Dave was a guest with me on 970 ESPN last week. I'm just going to assume he's reading my stuff.

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