Some thoughts on today's moves:
-P- The Pirates designated Wandy Rodriguez for assignment to make way for Russell Martin to return from the disabled list. Martin was suspended today and will return tomorrow. Tony Sanchez will likely go back to Triple-A when Jason Grilli is activated Saturday.
I thought the Pirates might find a reason to put Rodriguez on the disabled list for awhile and give him one last shot later in the season, but letting him go makes sense too. The Bucs have a couple reasonable candidates to fill Rodriguez's spot in Brandon Cumpton and Jeff Locke, and with Rodriguez slated to become a free agent in the offseason, there was little upside in continuing to let him go out and get whacked.
The DFA probably closes the book on Rodriguez as a Pirate, so now is as good a time as any to look back on the trade that brought him to Pittsburgh. After arriving from Houston, Rodriguez was one of very few bright spots for the Pirates down the stretch in 2012. If the rest of the team hadn't fallen apart completely, the trade might have looked terrific right away. As it stood, the Pirates got 75 good innings in 2012 and 62.2 in 2013 before Rodriguez fell apart this season.
On the other side of the deal, Rudy Owens still hasn't managed to crack the Astros' pitching staff (and that's mostly the fault of a 2013 foot injury, but still -- this is the Astros' pitching staff we're talking about here), and Colton Cain isn't really a prospect anymore. That leaves Robbie Grossman, who's 24 and still hasn't done much at the big-league level. There's still a chance he has a reasonable career as a second-division starter or a fourth outfielder, but unless his power develops, he probably won't be much more than that.
The Rodriguez deal didn't work out perfectly for the Pirates, but it didn't work out badly, either, and it's hard to have any regrets. I'll have fond memories of his tenure. Not only was Rodriguez a minor star when the Pirates acquired him, he was happy to come to Pittsburgh, as Pat mentioned yesterday.
Rodriguez's career probably isn't over; he's had a long, and very good, career as a lefty starter. He still isn't that old, and he's reportedly healthy. Heck, maybe he can head back to Houston and reestablish himself there. Happy trails, Wandy.
-P- The Pirates also claimed Josh Wall from the Angels and designated Phil Irwin for assignment. This is a bit of a head-scratcher, given that Wall is 27 and has never had any success in the majors. When I saw that, I assumed he at least threw hard, but he doesn't even really do that, or at least he hasn't so far in the big leagues. With relievers, one never knows, but it wouldn't surprise me if Wall never even made it to Pittsburgh. As WTM noted earlier today, there's a good chance Irwin will get through waivers and the Pirates will be able to keep him.