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Wandy Rodriguez has arthritis

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Sanserino reports that Wandy Rodriguez has arthritis in his elbow. He still wants to return this season, but Sanserino notes that Rodriguez is "frustrated by the persistence of the pain," which may suggest that a return is unlikely. Time is running out for Rodriguez to rehab in time to come back before the end of the season anyway. If he does come back, it will likely be as a reliever.

If arthritis and inflammation are the only problems, though, that might actually be good news with regard to Rodriguez's 2014 season, in that there's no obvious reason, yet, that he can't come back and pitch then. Rodriguez has a 2014 player option for $13 million that he is very likely to pick up. The Pirates are on the hook for $7.5 million for 2014, and the Astros will pay the rest.