Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Pudge Rodriguez

The Nationals signed Ivan Rodriguez to a two-year deal at a reported $3 million a year. This is a deal that should make sense, just as long as Rizzo, Riggleman, and Rodriguez all agree that he's coming here to replace Josh Bard as the back-up, not supplant Jesus Flores as the starter.

Here's why I like it. First, Rodriguez isn't good anymore, but he's better than Wil Nieves. Second, they needed another catcher. You can't go into as season with Jhonathan Solano #3 on the organizational depth chart.

I had previously dropped the names Rod Barajas and Greg Zaun, but Pudge fills the bill. I kinda wish they'd gotten a switch-hitter, but oh well.

Some folks are carping about the contract, especially the second year. But really, $3 million is pocket change. The Nationals have to be willing to eat that if needed. And as long as they're terrible, they're going to have to overpay to get free agents to come here, if they're going to try to get guys who have other options.

And unlike Paul LoDuca, I expect Ivan Rodriguez to be a professional day in and day out and to have a positive impact working with the Strasburgs, Storens and Stammens of the world. Heck, maybe he can get these guys to admit when they're hurt.


Todd Boss said...

Lets all remember. Paul Lo Duca was 1 yr, $5M and cut by the all star break. Pudge is 2yrs $6M and isn't slated to start. Good deal, good example of Rizzo bringing in character guys to build a team, as opposed to Bowden's bringing in non-character guys designed to destroy the clubhouse.

Steven said...

Todd--exactly. If they were bringing in Pudge to start, and COUNTING on him, that would be bad. The worst thing about Lo Duca was that he was supposed to be the guy who would allow Jesus Flores to have a much-needed developmental year after his rule-5 year. This is a totally different situation.

estuartj said...

The real positive in this is that Rizzo seams to have said "I want this guy" and Kasten/Lerner said "then go get him" and didn't get stuck on cost.

I also think Rizzo decided he didn't want to waste a 25 man roster slot anyone available in the Rule V draft so rather than "throw away" that pick he found someone to give him value in return. Smart and imaginitive move getting something for basically nothing.

Rob B said...

Love it.
Pudge can carry a full-time workload, so hopefully he will play a little more than just your typical back-up. It would be great if he could help Flores' game-calling and maybe extend his career a little bit. I'm still convinced that Jesus is the answer behind the plate for us.
This year already has a different feel than any of the Bowden years and it's not even January yet.

phil dunn said...

There is only one problem, Pudge is washed up.

Matteo said...

I LOVE the move. I don't know that Pudge can throw anyone out behind the plate anymore but he still calls a good game and should be able to teach Jesus a thing or two about that aspect of the game. He can still hit a little and has more pop in his bat that Nieves and Co.

Mitch said...

Good move. Let's simply wait and see too much prejudice going on here. Thanks for sharing. By the way, Premio Foods is giving away exclusive gifts whenever your favorite team wins. See for yourself. Enjoy!