As expected, left-hander Wandy Rodriguez on Friday informed the Pirates that he is picking up the $13 million option on his contract for the 2014 season.
The club option included in the three-year deal Rodriguez signed with the Houston Astros in January 2011 became the player's option when he was dealt to Pittsburgh on July 24, 2012. In negotiating that trade, the Astros agreed to be responsible for $5.5 million of the 2014 salary.
The Pirates have no other players on whom to make option decisions. Francisco Liriano's 2014 option vested at $6 million on his 120th day of the season on the active roster; the $700,000 option in Pedro Alvarez's original 2008 contract was voided by his eligibility for salary arbitration.
Rodriguez, who will turn 35 in January, missed the final four months of the 2013 season with a forearm issue that first landed him on the disabled list on June 11. Two rehabilitation attempts were aborted when discomfort returned, but in a mid-September visit to Dr. James Andrews, the pitcher and the club were assured there was no structural damage that would require surgery.
At the time of his injury, Rodriguez was pacing the Bucs' rotation with six wins and an ERA of 3.59. In the equivalent of two-thirds of a season with the Pirates (24 starts), Rodriguez is 11-8 with a 3.66 ERA and a WHIP of 1.20.
Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer.