The Pirates, who lead the Cardinals by 4 1/2 games entering play Tuesday, have made a big move to try to bolster their playoff push.
Pittsburgh on Tuesday traded three prospects to the Astros for starting pitcher Wandy Rodriguez.
It's a curious move for the Pirates who have pretty good pitching but who struggle to score runs. Rodriguez isn't cheap, with a contract that pays $10 million in 2012, $13 million in 2013 and that has an option for $13 million in 2014 with a $2.5 million buyout. The Pirates entire team payroll this year is lest that $52 million.
Houston will, apparently, offer Pittsburgh some cash to offset Rodriguez's salary. But it is unclear at this point how much that will be.
Rodriguez is 7-9 with a 3.39 ERA so far this year. Pittsburgh had to give up lefty pitchers Rudy Owens and Colton Cain and outfield prospect Robbie Grossman to get the lefty starter.
For more "From the Cheap Seats," click here.