Pudge to Astros

The Astros have been heavily scouting Ivan Rodriguez at the World Baseball Classic. And on Monday morning, they reached tentative agreement with the 37-year-old catcher, who has been a standout performer for Puerto Rico.

The Marlins also actively pursued Pudge. A source confirmed on Monday that it looks like Houston will be the choice.

Playing time became a big factor, and many within the game felt Houston provided the best opportunity for him to play regularly.

The Marlins have made it clear they like John Baker, and Pudge would have had to earn his opportunity in Florida.

“There was some interest, and we’ll kind of leave it at that,” Marlins president of baseball operations Larry Beinfest said. “Obviously, we have a lot of affection for Pudge and what he did in ’03, and there was some interest there. I don’t want to get into the ins and outs, but there was interest there.

“He made a choice, and that’s the way it goes. Hopefully, it works out for him.”

— Joe Frisaro

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