With the contract extensions of Troy Tulowitzki, Carlos Gonzalez, and Todd Helton, the Rockies are obviously in win now mode. Or at least they're not in rebuild mode. The Rockies have been aggressive in keeping their young talent. Recently, they have locked up Gonzalez through 2017, and Tulowitzki through 2021. Now, the Rockies should get aggressive and do whatever it takes to acquire a veteran to lead a staff that will feature promising young pitchers; Jhoulys Chacin, Alex White, and Drew Pomeranz.
Considering the underwhelming 2012 free-agent class, and the trouble the Rockies have historically had attracting and signing top-flight free-agent starting pitchers, the most likely source of pitching help would be to obtain it via trade. The Rockies already have their hands on their man. Wandy Rodriguez has quietly been a top 20 pitcher since 2008. He also has a history of pitching well in Colorado's thin air and against Colorado's National League West foes. The Rockies inquired about Wandy Rodriguez before the July 31st deadline, but the asking price was reportedly too high. By claiming Rodriguez off waivers, the Rockies are hoping to get the pitcher cheap by simply picking up his contract. However, the Astros are reportedly not looking for a salary dump and would expect prospects in any deal for Rodriguez.
If the 48 ½ hours that the Astros and Rockies are allotted pass without the two teams reaching a deal, the Astros will likely pull Rodriguez back and try to deal him in the off-season. The Rockies, will most likely again inquire about Rodriguez sometime during the winter, but the price-tag will be much higher than it is now. When teams go looking for free-agent pitchers this off-season, they will most likely be looking at a list headed by names like Mark Buehrle, Rich Harden, Jeff Francis and Dontrelle Willis. C.C. Sabathia isn't likely to opt out of his contract, but if he does, it won't be to sign for less than the 92 million he already has on the table for the next four years.
Even though some experts have reported that Wandy's contract will be a major hurdle in moving him, the lack of acquirable pitchers makes it reasonable for the Astros to expect prospects in exchange for Rodriguez. Basically, Wandy's contract is fair value wise, but teams will need to do more than just take on his contract because there will not be pitchers of Wandy's ilk willing to sign for 12 or 13 million dollars per year this off-season.
If the Rockies are set on acquiring a starting pitcher, their best bet will be to get it through a trade. Why not go ahead and get the guy they want now, while they have exclusive rights to him, rather than waiting for a bidding war in the off-season. The Astros would likely take less of a haul now, to forgo the risk of injury or poor performance in the remainder of this season. The Rockies could also actually use Wandy this year. They trail the division leading D-Backs by 8 ½ games, but neither Arizona nor the second place Giants seem set to run away with the division any time soon.