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Astros sign Wandy Rodriguez to minor league contract


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Only two players from the 2005 National League Champion Houston Astros team played Major League Baseball in 2015, Chad Qualls and Wandy Rodriguez. Qualls pitched out of the bullpen for Houston last season, Rodriguez made 15 starts for the Texas Rangers.

Rodriguez, 37, returned to Houston today as he signed a minor league contract with an invitee to Spring Training -- as reported by ESPN's Enrique Rojas.

Rodriguez was 6-4 with a 4.90 ERA, 72 strikeouts, 36 waks, 1.564 WHIP, 86 ERA+, 2.00 strikeout-to-walk ratio, 4.33 FIP, and 1.0 fWAR in 86 1/3 innings pitched in 2015.

The Astros traded Rodriguez to the Pittsburgh Pirates for Colton Cain, Robbie Grossman, and Rudy Owens on July 24, 2012. He pitched in Pittsburgh for three season. He signed with the Atlanta Braves before the 2015 season, but didn't make the Braves Opening Day roster. He started the 2015 season in the Rangers rotation and was released on Aug. 4, 2015. Rodriguez signed with the Kansas City Royals but didn't make a start with the Royals before being cut.

The Astros have brought veteran pitchers like Erik Bedard and Roberto Hernandez to help build starter depth during Spring Training. Both Bedard and Hernandez ended up making the Astros rotations. Houston lost the services of left-handed starter Scott Kazmir in free agency after he signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers this offseason.

Rodriguez pitched eight season in Houston -- posting a 80-84 record with a 4.04 ERA and a 1.339 WHIP in 227 appearances (218 starts). Rodriguez was the Astros' 2012 Opening Day starter.