Results tagged ‘ Ivan Rodriguez ’

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

Pudge's market opening up

For the first time since winning the World Series in 2003, Pudge Rodriguez was back at Dolphin Stadium on Friday. The 37-year-old catcher playing for Puerto Rico in the World Baseball Classic was in high demand.

Pudge addressed his chances of signing with the Marlins, and he noted that “communication” has been on-going with the team and his agent, Scott Boras. Pudge added that he wants to play, and he would be open to seeing some action at either first base or third base.

Clearly, playing time is part of the equation. With John Baker as the Marlins starter, Rodriguez would have to compete for his playing time. Nothing is guaranteed, but he would be hard pressed to find a starting job anywhere else.

Jon Heyman of SI.com reports on Friday night that the Giants and Twins also are interested in Pudge, joining the Marlins and Astros.

The Marlins are monitoring Rodriguez closely at the World Baseball Classic. The team is strongly considering signing him.

An 18-year veteran, Rodriguez has 2,605 career hits. He would like to reach 3,000, and to do so, obviously, he would need to play a few more seasons and see ample playing time.

His fit with the Marlins this year would be similar in some ways to 2003. Back then, he didn’t have much interest elsewhere, and both sides profited by his arrival. Rodriguez helped Florida win a World Series title, and he made himself marketable enough for a four-year, $40 million contract with Detroit.

If he signed with the Marlins this year, it again would be a one-year deal to position himself for a multiyear contract beginning in 2010.

– Joe Frisaro

What's going on with Pudge

Quite simply, the Marlins have had very strong interest in Ivan Rodriguez for more than a week.

The team has had discussions with Pudge’s agent, Scott Boras, and the money parameters aren’t as big a holdup as opportunity. The Marlins are very high on John Baker, and Pudge wants to know he will have ample chances to play.

The bottom line is the Marlins can’t offer guarantees on how much Pudge would play compared to Baker. But the team can provide Rodriguez with the chance to compete for playing time.

There still is a strong belief that the Marlins will end up signing Rodriguez.

– Joe Frisaro

Pudge still a possibility?

Whether the Marlins can reach agreement with Ivan Rodriguez remains a mystery. Not much is filtering out on that front, but that doesn’t mean speculation isn’t rampant.

To those connected to the game — mainly player evaluators and numerous league sources — their belief is Pudge will end up with Florida. One industry insider said, “That’s what we’re talking about. That’s no big secret.”

Not that they are speaking with any insider knowledge. They are just putting two-and-two together, and they see Florida as the perfect fit for Pudge.

It just may be, if the money matches.

For now, Pudge will be getting back on the field for the Puerto Rican team in the World Baseball Classic. Many eyes will be on the 37-year-old catcher, and the Marlins likely will be among the teams giving him a strong look.

– Joe Frisaro

Ohman, Cordero on radar

Florida continues to have interest in left-handed reliever Will Ohman, who looks like he will not return to the Braves.

Speculation that Ohman could sign with the Marlins surfaced recently on ESPN.com. For the right price, the lefty could wind up in Florida.

Early reports said Ohman is seeking $1.5 million, but the thinking is he could be obtained for less. The question is whether the Marlins decide to put their limited financial resources into a situational lefty, or do they still hold out hope of signing catcher Ivan Rodriguez?

Adding a lefty to the bullpen is something the team is exploring. Renyel Pinto, expected to make the team, has been sick the past couple of days.

The Marlins also recently attended a workout to watch right-handed reliever Chad Cordero. About 15 teams observed Cordero, who is battling back from a right shoulder problem. The reports are Cordero likely won’t be ready until perhaps the second half. His fastball was clocked around 80 mph, and the ball wasn’t coming out of his hand like it did when he was healthy pitching for Washington.

– 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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