Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Pudge Goes to Washington

Hall of Fame bound catcher Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez has signed a two-year, $6 million contract with the Washington Nationals.

Pudge split the 2008 season with the Houston Astros and the Texas Rangers. Of course, Pudge began his storied career with the Rangers in 1991. There have also been stops with the Florida Marlins, the Detroit Tigers and the New York Yankees. Pudge has been named to 14 All-Star teams, won 13 Gold Gloves, won the AL MVP in 1999, won a World Series with the Marlins in 2003 and played the AL champion Tigers in 2006.

But his productivity both offensively and defensively has steeply declined over the past couple of seasons. He just turned 38 last month.

Adam Bernacchio of The Bleacher Report asks, "Does Scott Boras (Rodriguez’s agent) have naked pictures of Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo’s wife? He must have because that is the only explanation I can think of for such a move."

I'm not sure I would go that far out on a limb. Pudge could be helpful to some of the Nats young pitchers as well as the Nats other catcher, Jesus Flores. I could see a one year contract for that purpose but two is taking a pretty big risk.

Couple this with their acquisition of relief pitcher Brian Bruney from the Yankees for their number one pick in the Rule 5 Draft and I think we have the makings of another very long year in D.C. Bruney is injury prone and if it becomes an issue in 2010 then it defeats the whole purpose of releasing Saul Rivera. Could Nats manager Jim Riggleman be having second thoughts?

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