02/20/10 6:06 PM EST
Wandy set to move past arbitration loss
Astros lefty will make $5 million after asking for $7 million
By Brian McTaggart / MLB.com
Rodriguez, who had to settle on pitching for $5 million this season after asking for $7 million, said he was looking forward to the upcoming season and even expressed a desire for getting a long-term extension done in the near future.
"I feel fine, so next year I will work hard and make it a good year again," said Rodriguez, who will be a free agent following the 2011 season.
Rodriguez led the club in wins (14), starts (33), innings pitched (205 2/3) and strikeouts (193), and enters the season as the Astros' No. 2 starter behind Roy Oswalt. Before his case was heard last week, he sought out former teammate Jose Valverde for advice.
Valverde lost an arbitration case against the Astros in 2008. He was asking for $6.2 million and settled for $4.7 million.
"Valverde talked to me about it last year, so I knew something about it," he said. "It's reasonable, because at the end of the day, it's all about the team trying to make its case and me trying to make my case for it."
Astros general manager Ed Wade praised Rodriguez for his professionalism and wasn't surprised he was ready for work.
"I saw him [Friday] and just said, 'It's all about baseball now,' and he said, 'Yeah,'" Wade said. "As expected, I don't see any ill effects of it."
Wade praised president of baseball operations Tal Smith and his consulting firm, Tal Smith Enterprises, for helping to keep the process professional.
"Tal did another tremendous job," Wade said. "To have the representation of Tal and the people that work at Tal Smith Enterprises was great. Tal's presentation was very thorough. There was not a discouraging word said about Wandy. This was about comparables and where he fit in the salary structure, and I think Tal framed the issue very, very well, as he always does.
"This was a big decision for the Astros, obviously, with a $2 million spread. And it was a big decision for the industry, because [of] where the numbers were. As was the case with the Valverde decision a couple of years ago, the work that Tal did not only helped the Astros organization, but helped the industry."
Rodriguez, 31, has a career 51-52 record with a 4.33 ERA and has made at least 20 starts in each of his five Major League seasons. He finished ninth in the National League last year in ERA and was 10th in strikeouts per nine innings.
Brian McTaggart is a reporter for MLB.com This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.