HOUSTON, TX - JUNE 19: Wandy Rodriguez #51 of the Houston Astros throws against the Kansas City Royals in the first inning at Minute Maid Park on June 19, 2012 in Houston, Texas. (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Like I did with Brett Myers and Carlos Lee last week, found here and here, today I'll be looking at teams with the biggest need for Wandy Rodriguez's. That's not to say that he'll definitely be traded to the five listed below, but these are the teams with the biggest need based on the SIERA, the WAR statistic and they're current medical issues.
I first started by looking at SIERA, a predictive stat of ERA, but I didn't think that gives a full picture so I then included the WAR statistic, a stat that looks at the current value of the pitching staff, simply as another angle in which to evaluate a teams pitching staff. I also looked at where in the rotation I would put Wandy by comparing SIERA and WAR numbers. I also gave him a little bit of credit for his history of reliability (health and veteran status).
I then took into account a teams disabled list and how many starting pitchers they currently have rehabbing from injuries. This will obviously fluctuate between now and the trade deadline, so keep that in mind.
The Rangers (43-27) are one of two teams with recent injuries that have decimated their rotation, the other team is discussed after the jump. The Rangers have Roy Oswalt, being in the American League West -- I don't know how comfortable Jeff Luhnow is trading to a future division rival -- and they have a better SIERA and WAR numbers than most of the other teams on the list. They certainly looking for help, but not desperately.
The Tigers (33-35) could use Wandy in the three spot as a reliable starter, but they have a good SIERA and a good WAR number. What they really need to do is improve their defense.
The Giants (38-32) and Yankees (41-27) are on the list because they were recently linked to Rodriguez in this article. I had Wandy third in the Yankees rotation and four in the Giants.
The Rays (38-30) recent addition of Jeremy Helickson to the DL and the ineffectiveness of Matt Moore make Wandy an interesting acquisition. The production from Alex Cobb and Jeff Niemann, however, make acquiring Wandy a less likely proposition.
The others would only get a marginal upgrade out of Wandy, over what they currently have. Again, I am not saying he won't be traded to one of the teams listed above; Instead I think the teams listed below have more of a need for Wandy.
SIERA and WAR do not include yesterday games. Onward.
They've gotten some pretty good production from the emerging James McDonald and the re-emerging Erik Bedard and A.J. Burnett. Based on WAR numbers Wandy would slide in behind all three of those guys. Charlie Morton has been their fourth best started and there's a case that he could be fifth. On the other hand Wandy's SIERA numbers are very close to Bedard and Morton so there's a case you could slide him in the third spot due to his history as a pitcher. Neither Bedard or Morton have the reliable history that Wandy does.
The Pirates have a 4.04 SIERA and a 5.3 WAR, which is below average but better than three other teams on this list.
The White Sox have had nine different pitchers start for them, so far this season. Chris Sale and Jake Peavy have been the leaders of this staff, but there's questions about Sale and Peavy's having his first good season since 2009. Past that Gavin Floyd hasn't been very good and John Danks has been on the DL and a rehab assignment is still a few weeks out.
The White Sox SIERA and WAR numbers are respectable which keeps them from the top of the list. Wandy could slide in as a reliable third starter for this White Sox team.
With a 3.5 WAR, second worst in the league, a 4.59 SIERA, worst in the league, and Wandy fitting nicely in the two hole based on SIERA, I should probably have this team number one. I really struggle with this team actually competing for the rest of the season. On top of a bad starting rotation they have, based on UZR, a bad defense and only an average offense. Still they have a pretty good bullpen and they are leading their division, so they do get credit for that.
Plus, despite the bad SIERA and WAR numbers, they've gotten good production out of Justin Masterson, Derek Lowe and Zach McAllister. I really think Carlos Lee would be a better fit for this team, but as I said in the Lee article maybe the Indians go for a package deal.
This is the other team with two recent injuries to the rotation. Not that Drew Hutchison and Kyle Drabek were little the world on fire, but the Blue Jays have lost depth. Hutchison figures to return this season, but Drabek is done with Tommy John surgery, his second by the way.
The Blue Jays 2.1 WAR is worst in the league and their 4.35 SIERA is second worst in the league. In the MLB Trade Rumor article I linked earlier the Blue Jays have show interest, which probably helps them a little on this list, but ultimately it's two hard to ignore that 2.1 WAR. Trading for Wandy would make him the teams second best starter behind Brandon Morrow.
I know what you're saying, but here me out before you tune me out. Yes the Braves had one of the better rotations and depth in the preseason, but baseball is a funny thing and the baseball Gods had the Braves starting pitching staff in their cross-hairs. With a 4.14 SIERA and a 3.7 WAR the Braves pitching rotation has failed to meet expectations.
The Braves best starter this season Brandon Beachy was recently placed on the 15 day disabled list and has been diagnosed with a partially torn UCL in his elbow. Yup, you guessed it, Tommy John for Beachy.
Adding Wandy makes him the second starter in the rotation behind Tim Hudson.
Before ending this article I wanted to make note that I think these last three could be interchanged with little to no argument from me. I chose the Braves because the Blue Jays are fifth in the AL East, the Indians I've already expressed their chances of competing, plus both are AL teams and they seem hesitant about Wandy for some reason.
The Braves are third and only 3.5 games behind Washington in the NL East. Still both the Indians and Blue Jays are desperate for pitching and the Indians do have the lead in the AL Central. Making me wonder if I should even include standings and chances of competing into the equation.