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Ivan Rodriguez is still looking for work

Feb 21, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

Ivan Rodriguez Getty Images

Jason Varitek is said to be leaning toward retirement, but the other 40-year-old catcher on the free agent market, Ivan Rodriguez, is still trying to land a gig for 2012.

Rodriguez told the Associated Press that he’s been “working out every day in the gym” and “can still play” if a team gives him a chance, noting that the number of big-name veterans without jobs as spring training begins “is hard to believe.”

In some cases, perhaps, but at this point Rodriguez, like Varitek, is a pretty marginal major leaguer. He brings plenty of experience and still-strong defense to the table, but the 40-year-old future Hall of Famer was abysmal offensively last season and hasn’t been a productive hitter–even for a catcher–since 2006.

Rodriguez is still hoping to reach 3,000 hits, but even if he can find a part-time gig for this season getting the 166 hits necessary is an extreme long shot. He had just 27 hits last year and hasn’t topped 110 hits in a season since 2007. Overall he’s no worse than several backups around baseball, but unfortunately for Rodriguez he’s also not clearly better.

  1. proudlycanadian - Feb 21, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    He will not need 3,000 hits to get into the HOF.

    • bigharold - Feb 21, 2012 at 12:45 PM

      Good because there’s no way he getting to 3000 unless he sticks around for another 5 years.

  2. bigzant82 - Feb 21, 2012 at 11:32 AM


  3. 84cubs - Feb 21, 2012 at 12:04 PM

    Why isnt he linked to ‘roids? Wasnt he mentioned in Canseco’s book? Hasnt HIS body shrunk since the late 90’s? Just wondering.

  4. cleverbob - Feb 21, 2012 at 12:18 PM

    Gladly take him as a backup for the veterans minimum in Philly. No offense, Schneider.

    • Francisco (FC) - Feb 21, 2012 at 1:08 PM

      No offense, Schneider.

      Exactly, that’s the problem. No offense whatsoever.

      • cleverbob - Feb 21, 2012 at 1:39 PM

        Apparently Pudge doesn’t have anything better to offer than Brian “No Offense” Schneider in the batter’s box.

  5. kalinedrive - Feb 21, 2012 at 1:12 PM

    The Tigers could use a backup catcher, and my Rodriguez jersey would make sense again.

  6. stex52 - Feb 21, 2012 at 10:57 PM

    I was disappointed when I found out that the prevailing wisdom had him taking steroids. Never heard for sure if he was named in anything official. He is a player that I felt transcended the issue in his overall career performance and demeanor. Count me as a fan, even under those circumstances. And I don’t feel that way often.

    But he is pretty much finished.

    • 84cubs - Feb 22, 2012 at 11:48 AM

      Wouldn’t he fall into the same category as Jeff Bagwell regarding steroids? Im just wondering why, even though it has been SUGGESTED in some circles that he has used PEDs, isnt he painted with the same brush? This guy REALLY HAS SHRUNK(and Im not talking about his testicles)!

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