Skip to content

Nationals sign Ivan Rodriguez to head-scratcher of a two-year deal

Dec 8, 2009, 12:45 AM EDT

Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Nationals and Ivan Rodriguez have agreed to a two-year, $6 million contract. To which I say … huh?
Rodriguez is not without value despite declining significantly in recent years, but committing to him for two seasons seems crazy given that he’s 38 years old and hit .249/.280/.384 in 2009. He managed just a one-year, $1.5 million deal as a free agent last offseason and had arguably the worst season of his career, so suddenly now he’s worth four times as much for twice long?
And then there’s the fact that the Nationals have a good young catcher in Jesus Flores, who despite being a question mark for the start of 2010 thanks to shoulder surgery is a superior player and still just 25 years old. Between the unlikelihood that they’ll be anywhere close to contenders in 2010 or perhaps even 2011 and Flores’ presence Washington seems like one of the least sensible destinations for Rodriguez.
Perhaps the Nationals still have faith in Flores as the long-term answer behind the plate and are merely bringing Rodriguez in to be a backup, in which case the question becomes why a non-contender needs to pay $3 million per season for a 38-year-old backup catcher. And if instead they’re planning to hand Rodriguez the starting job while either benching or trading Flores … well, I’ll give general manager Mike Rizzo the benefit of the doubt and assume that he’s not completely crazy. For now at least.

  1. Eat a Peach - Dec 8, 2009 at 7:57 AM

    It strikes me that this is a mentorship deal. Jesus Flores learns how to be a professional and gets taught the finer points of defense behind the dish from the greatest defensive catcher in history. Pudge is also an awfully useful bat off the bench.
    The Nats probably had to significantly overpay to get him there, and in the big picture $6 million simply isn’t that much money in baseball terms.

  2. ralf - Dec 8, 2009 at 8:51 AM

    Also, he still has trade value when a contending team’s catcher gets hurt. If Flores stays healthy and keeps improving, it’s unlikely Pudge stays in DC for the length of the contract.

  3. Arendell - Dec 8, 2009 at 10:12 AM

    TO know that the Nats do know what there doing is to know the minor leagers’. First, Pug will help make J.F.better. But his true spot is to bridge the gap to D.Norris Class A. A great young cather. hit .286/413/513 (926ops) 23 hr 84 rbi, 437ab 90bb 116k.
    SO,he is 1 to 2 years away. But nice breat out stats at Hagertown.
    Keep up the good work Nats & nice thinking and planing..

  4. Tex - Dec 8, 2009 at 10:47 AM

    Aaron Gleeman is showing that he does not follow the Nats and suddenly was forced to write something about the Nats signing Pudge. It shows in his abysmal piece above.
    Aaron – here’s why the Nats signed Pudge. Jesus Flores is the starting catcher. However, he’s coming off shoulder surgery and alhtough everyone believes he’ll be ready for spring training, they need some insurance in the form of an established catcher. It’s sign Pudge or keep Wil Nieves as the backup. Second, assuming Flores is ready, Pudge is the backup and it never hurts to have a winner of 13 gold gloves as a mentor for your young catcher. Aaron, please get with the program. I’d be embarassed if I were you to have written the piece of drivel you did on this subject.

  5. Rick - Dec 8, 2009 at 11:56 AM

    Pudge helps develop the young pitching staff.

  6. Blimpo - Dec 9, 2009 at 12:26 AM

    Rizzo’s crazy? Look at Posada. That contract was nearly 10 times as much and look what happened the 1st year and there’s no guarantee a catcher who will be 39 before the end of 2010 will be able to produce in a manner similar to his prime for much longer and he has that humongous salary to boot.. Rizzo will look like a genius before long at a fraction of the cost. Pudge has really been bouncing around the past few years and has not been able to settle into a steady spot in any lineup in the process. Expect a resurgance by him in 2010 and his catching skills are still top notch.

  7. Herman - Dec 9, 2009 at 8:42 PM

    3 million dollars for 2 years to a catcher with 13 gold gloves, perhaps the greatest defensive catcher in history and still swinging a decent bat. Never mind that he’s approaching 40 and his stats have declined…just like most players his age. Pudge has the experience and leadership skills to teach and mentor the young players to be great in the game of baseball. I think having Ivan in the team is worth much more than his contract.

  8. Click here - Jan 13, 2010 at 10:47 PM

    Have you ever considered adding more videos to your blog posts to keep the readers more entertained? I mean I just read through the entire article of yours and it was quite good but since I’m more of a visual learner,I found that to be more helpful well let me know how it turns out! I love what you guys are always up too. Such clever work and reporting! Keep up the great works guys I’ve added you guys to my blogroll. This is a great article thanks for sharing this informative information.. I will visit your blog regularly for some latest post.

  9. Christian bookstore - Jan 13, 2010 at 10:48 PM

    Have you ever considered adding more videos to your blog posts to keep the readers more entertained? I mean I just read through the entire article of yours and it was quite good but since I’m more of a visual learner,I found that to be more helpful well let me know how it turns out! I love what you guys are always up too. Such clever work and reporting! Keep up the great works guys I’ve added you guys to my blogroll. This is a great article thanks for sharing this informative information.. I will visit your blog regularly for some latest post.

  10. Clemmie Kiyabu - Jan 26, 2010 at 5:13 PM

    A thoughtful insight and ideas I will use on my blog. You’ve obviously spent some time on this. Well done!

  11. NBA Headlines - Jan 31, 2010 at 4:44 PM

    Pretty good post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. Any way I’ll be subscribing to your feed and I hope you post again soon.

  12. silk screen shirts - Feb 8, 2010 at 10:56 PM

    Hey good blog. I have a question (I’m smacking different blogs with different questions) what do you think was the best play from last night? are you happy or pissed with the Saints win?

  13. Finance - Feb 21, 2010 at 9:09 PM

    Easy What is the best Iraqi job? Foreign Ambassador

  14. Eric A. Release - Mar 4, 2010 at 10:37 AM

    All computers wait at the same speed

  15. Kathleen Calculator - Mar 4, 2010 at 4:54 PM

    Thanks for the tips and infos Will visit again. The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.

  16. Sue Loan - Mar 5, 2010 at 6:39 AM

    Did you hear about the new “Divorce Barbie”? It comes with all of Ken’s stuff

Leave Comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!

Featured video

Who's outside looking in on playoffs?
Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. R. Castillo (2495)
  2. M. Trout (1882)
  3. J. Hamilton (1847)
  4. D. Ortiz (1827)
  5. J. Heyward (1817)
  1. J. Ellsbury (1769)
  2. S. Pearce (1753)
  3. C. Kershaw (1707)
  4. A. Pagan (1706)
  5. D. Jeter (1679)