No question Grienke is the better pitcher. But its clear that Wandy could be had for less. Rodriguez has pitched very well this season, going 7-6, 3.38, netting 74 strikeouts in 114 2/3 IP. He is a career 80-81 pitcher, with a 3.77 ERA, 1238 K in 1387 2/3 IP; all in 215 career starts. He will be making $5 million for the rest of 2012 and will make $13 million in 2013. He also has an interesting option for 2014. It is worth $13 million, could vest based on numbers and is a team option. However, it becomes a player option if Rodriguez is traded.
Grienke, on the other hand, is the more valuable chip as he probably becomes the ace of the staff ahead of Chen and Hammel. He is also 9-3, 3.17 in 18 starts, with 106 Ks in 108 IP. He is owed $6.75 million for the rest of this season and is a free agent after 2012. Baltimore will have to dig deeper into their farm system to land Grienke, but he would be the better catch.
I wouldn't under-rate Rodriguez though, especially if he could be had for the right price. The acquiring team gets him through 2013. The only catch is the 2014 player option which a team may not want to take. Grienke will cost better prospects- plus is testing free agency, making him essentially a rental. Do the Orioles want to move pieces that could be part of the future for a run this season? I think Rodriguez would be the wiser move, because the Orioles have to continue to build on what they have over the past couple of years. And lets be honest, similar to the Mets, the Orioles are more about the future than they are about right now.