Results tagged ‘ Puerto Rico ’

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

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

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 88 other followers