Results tagged ‘ Astros ’

Pudge and Miguel

Former teammates who shared a World Series championship together in 2003 got together before Monday night’s game between Venezuela and Puerto Rico.

Ivan Rodriguez and Miguel Cabrera shared a few words during batting practice. They posed for pictures and shared some thoughts.

Cabrera was a rookie for the Marlins in 2003, and Rodriguez was a standout catcher. On Monday night, they were competitors. Cabrera plays for Venezuela and Pudge is on the Puerto Rican squad.

“Cabrera is a nice guy, and he’s a good friend of mine,” Rodriguez said. “He’s a great hitter. He’s got big future. He’s done a lot now.”

Cabrera has emerged into an elite performer since his rookie season.

The two were teammates for a while in Detroit last year before Pudge was dealt to the Yankees.

“He’s a very smart hitter,” Pudge said.

Actually, three former players from Florida’s 2003 title team were in the park. Shortstop Alex Gonzalez with the Reds, made the trip from Sarasota to Miami to watch his native country, Venezuela.

Rodriguez took a few seconds to talk about Cabrera on Monday, a day where he has reached tentative agreement on a contract with the Astros.

I asked him if he is capable of playing 130 games like he did in the past.

He smiled and replied: “No comment.”

Considering he has incentives in his reported $1.5 million contract with the Astros, that number may meet an incentive.

– Joe Frisaro

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

Eyes on Pudge

As expected, a lot of scouts are on hand for the World Baseball Classic in Miami.

On the Ivan Rodriguez front, the Marlins remain a frontrunner, but there definitely is competition. The Twins, with Joe Mauer getting a second opinion on a back ailment, is a team that has interest.

If Mauer is only out for a little bit, though, they may not be a favorite to land Pudge. The Astros have a need behind the plate, but indications are Houston’s front office isn’t as interested.

The Marlins are well positioned, and the team is definitely following him closely in the Classic.

– Joe Frisaro

Still pondering Pudge

Don’t discount the Marlins as being in the hunt for catcher Ivan Rodriguez.

The club continues to weigh whether to seriously pursue the 37-year-old who was a big part of their 2003 World Series championship team. The Marlns, Mets and Astros have been the clubs linked to Pudge.

Florida is prepared to go with John Baker as the starter. While Rodriguez is wearing down, the assessment of those around the league is he can handle playing two to four times a week. The question is whether the Marlins will stay firm on only signing him for the minimum or if they can settle on an agreeable offer.

Right now behind Baker, the competition is open for the backup spot. Mike Rabelo, Brad Davis and Brett Hayes are all in the mix.

– Joe Frisaro

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