The Astros beat Wandy Rodriguez in arbitration

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Alyson Footer tweets that the Astros have won the Wandy Rodriguez arbitration. Rodriguez will earn $5 million in 2010. He had asked for $7 million. He made $2.6 million last year.

No one but the participants knows for sure what went down in that hearing room, but I’m rather surprised that Rodriguez lost.  Sure, people with a management bent will say things like “Hey, Rodriguez still wins! His salary doubled!” To them I’d simply ask what Rodriguez and his 14-12 record, 3.02 ERA and 193 strikeouts might be worth on the open market right now.  Multiples of $5 million, that I can assure you.

Then again, I suppose that’s really a beef with the arbitration system itself as opposed to a beef with this particular outcome.

CORRECTION: Footer actually works for the Astros now as their Senior
Director of New Media. I think I knew that, but it slipped my mind. Sorry Alyson, and sorry to
Brian McTaggart, who is the Astros beat guy.

Report: Welington Castillo to be suspended 80 games for violating Joint Drug Agreement

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic confirms a report from journalist Américo Celado that White Sox catcher Welington Castillo will be suspended 80 games for violating baseball’s Joint Drug Agreement. Castillo was believed to have used a steroid, but according to Rosenthal, the substance was not a steroid. More details should come on Thursday.

Castillo, 31, entered Wednesday’s action batting .270/.314/.477 with six home runs and 15 RBI in 118 plate appearances. He has gotten the bulk of the work behind the plate, backed up by Omar Narváez.

Castillo’s absence will likely prompt the White Sox to call up Kevan Smith from Triple-A Charlotte. Smith battled an ankle injury in March and April, so he got a late start to the season. In 102 PA at Triple-A, he has hit .283/.343/.457.