Wandy Rodriguez started just 12 games last season, shutting things down in June with elbow problems, but Rob Biertempfel of the Pittsburgh Tribune Review reports that the Pirates left-hander has started throwing again and expects to be ready for spring training.
Rodriguez exercised his $13 million player option to remain with the Pirates for 2014, which was an easy decision thanks to the injury.
He was pitching well before going on the disabled list, posting a 3.59 ERA at age 34, and Rodriguez has a 3.66 ERA in 138 total innings since the Pirates acquired him from the Astros in mid-2012.
Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports reports Thursday that the Orioles “are said to have begun fielding calls of interest” on superstar Manny Machado and “are close to the point of seriously weighing whether to trade him.”
You’d think it would be a no-brainer for the last-place O’s to flip Machado — an impending free agent — for prospects, but Heyman notes there is “still a question whether or not longtime Orioles owner Peter Angelos” will give the go-ahead. One person familiar with the situation put it a “50-50” likelihood. Another suggested that it would take a massive return, which, sure.
Machado entered play Thursday with a sensational .328/.405/.635 batting line, 15 home runs, and an MLB-leading 43 RBI in 49 games. It’d be a real shock if he’s still wearing an O’s uniform by the end of July.
Heyman reported previously that at least nine teams made aggressive plays for Machado this winter, including the Cubs, Phillies, Dodgers, Indians, Diamondbacks, Yankees, Red Sox, White Sox, and Cardinals. A whole lot of those teams still make sense here in late May — maybe all of them except the White Sox.