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Nats sign free agent Ivan Rodriguez

The Washington Nationals' bid to add a back-up catcher ended Monday night with the acquisition of free agent Ivan Rodriguez, a future Hall of Famer whose stature and salary suggests a significant role, according to a team source. Rodriguez, 38, who signed a two-year, $6 million deal, will fill a major need for the Nationals, backing up catcher Jesus Flores, who is recovering from a serious right shoulder injury. If Flores is not ready for the regular season, Rodriguez will be able to play regularly.

Rodriguez spent last season with the Houston Astros and Texas Rangers, hitting .249 with 10 home runs in 425 at bats. During his prime, he was known as an extraordinary defensive catcher who also had the ability to hit with pop. Those skills are diminished now, but Rodriguez nonetheless represents a high-profile signing; he's a former AL MVP, and an upgrade over Wil Nieves and Josh Bard, who shared the catching duties last season.

Washington was in particular need of a catcher because of doubt about the health of Jesus Flores, the team's promising 25-year-old catcher. Though the Nationals believe Flores will be 100-percent by the start of spring training, the catcher missed most of 2009 with a right shoulder contusion and a subsequent right labrum injury. On Sept. 16, orthopedist James Andrews performed surgery to repair Flores's labrum.

General Manager Mike Rizzo on Monday said that "we foresee [Flores] to be ready to go in the spring." But nonetheless, the lessons from last season -- when Flores went down, and the Nationals struggled to find a palatable alternative -- helped to dictate this move. Rizzo said earlier on Monday that the Nationals sought a "a catcher that could fill in as an everyday guy in the short-term but that could morph into a mentor/teacher for Flores."

Before the Nationals can officially announce the Rodriguez signing, they must make room on their 40-man roster. Nieves, who hit .259 in 224 at bats last season, is the only other catcher on the roster.

By Chico Harlan  |  December 8, 2009; 1:09 AM ET
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Next: Why Pudge? Why two years?


Welcome to DC Pugde!!! I can't wait to see you donning our colors. I've always been a big Pudge fan and I'm very happy to have him here.

Posted by: big_game_lannan | December 8, 2009 1:34 AM | Report abuse

It's hard to think of Pudge as an upgrade over Josh Bard, doing all he could to 'round the bases with his ripped groin and his timely hitting, or Wil Nieves and his all-star smile, his always sunny outlook, and his fine catching skills, not to mention that he continues his membership on Dave Sheinin's All Nice-Guy Team. This is a heart-breaker.

Posted by: flynnie321 | December 8, 2009 4:24 AM | Report abuse

Love this move....half the price of Paul Lo Duce that sucked year sucked....Cut Marco Estrada now and offer Will N arb as a backup plan then trade him mid (will cash if needed) season if catching stabilizes in the minor leagues.

Posted by: JayBeee | December 8, 2009 5:49 AM | Report abuse

Holy Smokes!!!!!

Posted by: NatsNut | December 8, 2009 6:20 AM | Report abuse

It's a good move for the team.

That doesn't mean it won't be kinda painful to release Nieves, who's done everything this club could ask him to do and made a lot of friends while doing it. But that's how pro sports works.

Posted by: greggwiggins | December 8, 2009 6:42 AM | Report abuse

"...the Nationals sought a 'a catcher that could fill in as an everyday guy in the short-term but that could morph into a mentor/teacher for Flores.'"

Um, yea. I think Pudge can pretty much takes care of all of that.

Flynnie, true about Bard and Nieves. Lotta heart and sunny is the only way to describe Nieves.

But Pudge Rodriguez? On the Nationals? I mean, wow.

Posted by: NatsNut | December 8, 2009 6:45 AM | Report abuse

Pudge will be great for the young pitchers!!

If Flores is good to go at the beginning of the season I would still split the catching between Flores and Pudge the first quarter of the season. Flores would learn and the younger pitchers would learn even more.

Posted by: kgwcoach | December 8, 2009 7:19 AM | Report abuse

LoDuca had a 1 year $5M deal IIRC. How is that half the price of a 2 year $6M deal for Pudge?

Posted by: section309 | December 8, 2009 7:35 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, I did a "Holy Crap!" this morning when I read the news on Pudge. I think it is a good deal. He is going to be a wonderful mentor/teacher to Flores and the pitching staff, on and off the diamond.

I am sad to see NIeves go. On the one hand, I hope that they can sign him to a minor league deal as a back-up (and to keep him in the system). On the other hand, I want him to have the opportunity to play at the Major League level.

Posted by: LurkerNowPoster | December 8, 2009 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Definitely a good move!

So far Bruney, Pudge...and were only in the second day of the winter meetings.

Good things to come for the N-A-T-S ...nats...nats...nats!!!

Posted by: Nats1924 | December 8, 2009 7:37 AM | Report abuse

Could Pudge be used to help lure some free-agent SPs to the Nats? The idea of throwing to a future HOFer could negate any qualms a pitcher might have about coming to a last-place team.

Posted by: SpashCity | December 8, 2009 7:52 AM | Report abuse

mmmmmm Bard gimping around the bases, Nieves 1 home run but a nice smile, or Ivan Rodriquez, a future HOFer, one of the best all-around catchers of the past 30 years and the perfect addition to a team with a young pitching staff and a young catcher. Let me think about that for a min...nope I'll take Pudge... Welcome Pudge, I'm glad to have you on our team.

Posted by: garyolney | December 8, 2009 7:58 AM | Report abuse

IRod improves the team. His OBP has been droopping for a number of years, but defensively his CS% is still respectable. He's very much a bottom of the order kind of guy at this point. If Flores turns out healthy and productive, Pudge could land a decent C prospect this year or next in a late season trade. He's very much a defensive catcher at this point. Anything you get offensively is a plus. 40 Year old catchers that can still get out of their squat are relatively rare.

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 8, 2009 8:24 AM | Report abuse

according to Ladson:

The move means that catcher Wil Nieves, who is arbitration-eligible for the first time this season, will be non-tendered. With Flores on the disabled list for most of the 2009 season, Nieves platooned with Josh Bard and hit .259 with one home run and 26 RBIs.

Posted by: natbiscuits | December 8, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

The Nationals are still a little thin on catching at the top of the system, even with Pudge under contract. Nieves is a likely non-tender at this point, but there are some pitchers who are on the bubble as well (Bergmann, Chico, M. Estrada).

The Nationals need to be at 39 rostered players before the Rule-V draft, so they might hold off on the official signing announcement for a while, just to see if anything else develops.

Posted by: BinM | December 8, 2009 8:28 AM | Report abuse

Now playing on MLB on XM....Bowden for Breakfast.

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 8, 2009 8:30 AM | Report abuse

I don't believe what I just saw! Rubs eyes. Yep, that's what the headline says. Wait a sec. Just gotta hit the reset button of disdain from the 2003 NLCS (hey, I was rooting in support of nf1b back then). Okay, I'm on board now.

Not saying that it's gonna happen the same way here, but remember when the Tigers signed him? So, playoffs in 2012, right? ;-) Okay, back down to earth, then, but maybe this move will help as far as increasing, uh, restoring, uh, building respectability for the Nats around MLB.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 8, 2009 8:31 AM | Report abuse

Good move Mike Rizzo! Pudge should be great for our young pitchers and perhaps help Flores learn to call a game better. Very happy with this.

Posted by: logan9 | December 8, 2009 8:34 AM | Report abuse

If this means that Nieves is non-tendered, then: thanks for all your work with the Nats, Wil, and I hope you get on somewhere else. Perhaps you'll have the opportunity to team with your childhood friend Saul again. (And in addition to the positive qualities listed by other commenters, I would add that Mr. Nieves is pretty easy on the eyes. Yeah, I went there.)

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 8, 2009 8:37 AM | Report abuse

" upgrade over Wil Nieves and Josh Bard..."

Biggest. Understatement. Ever.

Posted by: funafuti | December 8, 2009 8:39 AM | Report abuse

Man, I was busy yesterday, and didn't get the chance to check out NJ. What a flurry of posts!

It would be sad to see Nieves go. What a great guy.

But I'm with the majority when I say this is a great move for the organization.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 8, 2009 8:41 AM | Report abuse

This is a BIG pickup, filling one of our most significant holes -- a catcher who handles pitchers properly. Hopefully his enough of his skills remain such that he can still bat and field adequately (with fielding the more important skill).

But this may have a BIG impact on our pitching. Remember, with merely below-average (in place of absolutely horrible) pitching last year we might have been a contender. A LOT of our pitchers have all the "stuff" anyone could ask for, and just need a catcher to keep them in line.

Posted by: FergusonFoont | December 8, 2009 8:45 AM | Report abuse

On first hear, thanks to Craig Heist of WTOP Sports, I turned to my wife and said...., Oh no LoDuca Redux. Then after digesting it for a while, reading the posts here and on some of the other sites, this is a smart move by the Nats braintrust. Apparently the morning guys on XM-175 MLB Homplate think so too (one who happens to Jim PT Bowdoin). Pudge is a tough guy but not full of himself like Capt Red-Ass, he is a proven commodity and why wouldn't Dereck Lowe, Rich Harden, Randy Wolf, Jon Garland or maybe even John Smoltz feel comfortable in DC knowing that the Nats have a HOF presence behind the plate.

Will Nieves the Mets need a catcher, maybe Omar and Rizzo can make a deal.

Posted by: TippyCanoe | December 8, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

I did a double-take this morning! This is good news for a young pitching staff and a good mentor for Flores.

Posted by: markfd | December 8, 2009 8:48 AM | Report abuse

In contrast to some statements, I heard Bowden downplay this move to sign PR when they started airing just after 7am. JB thought the price was to high for a 38 year old catcher with HOF credentials on the decline. He did credit Scott Boras for being able to work this deal. It will be interesting to follow this story thru the spring and just hope he can remain healthy as a part timer. JB said Pudge was never known as a good game caller and that if a runner reached first base he would only put down the #1 sign for the fastball because he didn't want that runner to steal on him. We'll just have to wait and see how it pans out. In Rizzo I trust, and you can just suck on it JB.

Posted by: cokedispatch | December 8, 2009 9:00 AM | Report abuse

I'd be reluctant to let Nieves go just yet if i'm Rizzo i wait to see Flores come springtime but happy to see Pudge with the the curly W, with the Bullets and Skins sinking like a cheap canoe spring training can't get here fast enough Go Nats.

Posted by: dargregmag | December 8, 2009 9:02 AM | Report abuse

Guess that we can check this one off, and then some. :-)


Santa baby, a backup catcher would be good, too - likes chew
I'll wait up for you, dear Santa baby, and hurry down the chimney tonight

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | December 8, 2009 9:05 AM | Report abuse

"JB said Pudge was never known as a good game caller and that if a runner reached first base he would only put down the #1 sign for the fastball because he didn't want that runner to steal on him."

Whether we want to believe it or not, Bowden is accurately characterizing some of the long-time criticism of Pudge's game-calling, and it's refreshingly candid to hear it. Pudge has always been very good defensively, but on the game-calling side of things, he never has been considered very good, and the charge of calling too many fastballs to protect his CS% has always been there. At 38+ years old, it will be interesting to see how that plays out. Anyway, he doesn't look to be a great role model for Flores in that respect. Plus, the idea that prospective big-time free agent pitchers will be lured to the Nats by the prospect of throwing to Pudge as a backup catcher is pretty unlikely.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | December 8, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

I'm noticing a pattern with the Pudge signing and the Smoltz/Garland rumors. Short term deals for veterans who can serve as mentors and who are more likely to prevent 100-loss seasons than unproven players with "potential," even if the vets are a shadow of their former selves. The team is trying to prevent another debacle next year without suggesting that they'll compete yet.

Posted by: jcj5y | December 8, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

hard to believe signing a 38 year old catcher improves a pretty good offense, but it does!

i'll take flores/pudge over bard/nieves every time.

i'm happy with the signing.

side note: strasburg's changeup is better than most others fastballs so pudge's sb ratios should be safe if we can find someone to cover the bag.

Posted by: longterm | December 8, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

Bad move. $3m a year for two years for a backup catcher who can't hit any longer (sub .300 OBP) and who has a reputation for calling nearly all fastballs with a runner on first so he can preserve his caught stealing #s. With backup catchers typically making less than $1m per year and signing one-year contracts, this is ridiculous for a small-payroll team. Brad Ausmus, for instance, is available for a lot less.

Posted by: goldbergjeffrey | December 8, 2009 9:21 AM | Report abuse

"the charge of calling too many fastballs to protect his CS% has always been there."

Some would say he's protecting his CS%, others would say he's doing what he needs to do to keep a runner on first from automatically advancing into scoring position. Many if not most steals are made on the pitcher, not the catcher. Especially on the Nats pitchers. So if Pudge can get the pitcher to the plate faster by calling a fastball, that's a smart move.

Posted by: section309 | December 8, 2009 9:26 AM | Report abuse

I like this move more as a message to other free agents and their agents than I do as a baseball move. I don't think we're really getting "Pudge Rodriguez" in this deal. We're getting a 38 year old catcher with a fraction of the great skills he used to have. Maybe, if the Nats don't ask too much of him, Rodriguez will help. If Flores isn't ready in April, maybe they'll get a good month or two out of Pudge. That's about all I'd expect out of this move.

But the Nats paid pretty good money for a guy who's going to be a backup. They seem to be saying "We'll spend some money if you're worth it." That could help with some of the other guys they're looking at this winter. I like the move for that reason alone.

Posted by: baltova1 | December 8, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

"So if Pudge can get the pitcher to the plate faster by calling a fastball, that's a smart move."

Not if the hitters are sitting on the fastball.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | December 8, 2009 9:29 AM | Report abuse

"The team is trying to prevent another debacle next year without suggesting that they'll compete yet."

There is no repeat no way they're going to "compete" next year (whatever that means) no matter what they do. So doing what they need to do to be respectable next year while the kids get another year under their belts is the smart move. When the kids are ready, they'll compete. That's been the plan all along.

Posted by: section309 | December 8, 2009 9:30 AM | Report abuse

WOW!!! Looking forward to seeing him play from my Section 416 perch!

Posted by: Section416akatheAlps | December 8, 2009 9:31 AM | Report abuse

Well put 309; that's what I was trying to say. The problem in the past is that there was no viable interim plan for respectability while the kids were being groomed.

Posted by: jcj5y | December 8, 2009 9:35 AM | Report abuse

I've never been sold on the idea that Flores is THAT guy. He's got to eventually get a full season or two in before we can count on him. Pudge at 38 is a much much better defensive catcher than Flores, so I'm sure the plan is for him to be more than just a mentor. At the very least he can be a bridge to the next guy... Norris... Harper... or maybe a proven healthy, I can catch 120 games a year Flores.

Posted by: Sonny9 | December 8, 2009 9:37 AM | Report abuse


You make some good points about Pudge.

I like the move though. He's a vet that can help Flores develop and be a solid backup that is not a journeyman type.

I will like it a lot better when they add a number 1, at least for our staff, like Garland, or Wolf and a two more BP arms, one of which should be a closer.

In Rizzo I trust.

Posted by: Section505203 | December 8, 2009 9:47 AM | Report abuse

I hate this move. Pudge is a prima donna, he doesn't think of himself as a backup, and no way he is worth $6 million. He's going to be unhappy by July. The only way I would like this move is if we were able to trade him mid-season to a contender for something decent, but that $6 million contract doesn't look too appealing for a trade. First terrible move by Rizzo, so I'll cut him some slack, but this move doesn't make us better. We already have a problem with leadership and high character guys, so I actually see this move causing more problems than it solves.

Posted by: drobins7 | December 8, 2009 9:56 AM | Report abuse

Another bad move by the Nats. I doubt any other team was willing to pay a 39 year old backup catcher 3 mill/year? He's hardly played the last couple of years. Are the Nats opening up their pocket book or just trying to dangle a known name out there??

Posted by: larry40 | December 8, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse

happy festivus to all. but then again, i guess festivus isn't supposed to be happy.

Posted by: surly_w | December 8, 2009 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Now we know why Josh Bard wasn't offered a an over-the-hill Pudge Rodriguez could wear No. 7. Going to be interesting to see how this plays out once Flores gets healthy and plays 66-75 percent of the games. Will Pudge lobby to play more or demand to be traded so he could pursue 3,000 hits?

Posted by: leetee1955 | December 8, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Interesting choice for the Nationals.

Rodriguez will do wonders for the National's young pitchers while providing two years of solid insurance.

Are the National's telegraphing their 2010 draft pick? Perhaps Bryce Harper?

Posted by: clandestinetomcat | December 8, 2009 10:06 AM | Report abuse

A good move - this is a move that a team with a budget makes. Spending $3m on a durable, credible backup.

As for JimBo and the rumors of Pudge loving the fastball too much, that's easily proveable for anybody who wants to actually, you know, provide evidence of such an assertion. Look at the Pitch/Fx tracked games where Pudge was catching - figure out the overall percentage of FBs called, then look at FB% with runners on 1st and compare that to other catchers with runners on 1st to see how much it deviates.

Until I see those numbers, I'm not buying the "bad game-caller" stuff. Every team calls more FBs when a runner is on 1st, in order to keep a DP in order, to cut down on the chances of a WP/PB, to give the catcher (any catcher) a better chance to throw out the runner.

It's a good, good move - Pudge has got the standing to be a leader on the team and says to other free agents that the Nats are willing to spend usefully. I might wonder if they couldn't have gotten him on a 1/4 deal instead of 2/6, but this is a good bridge (a) until Flores comes into his own, or (b) until Norris is ready at the end of 2011.

Posted by: Highway295Revisited | December 8, 2009 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Why do we care about the money? The Nats have plenty of money. This is a good thing. $3 million a year is nothing to most large market teams. How does this hurt us. We didn't give up any young talent to get him.

Posted by: Sonny9 | December 8, 2009 10:10 AM | Report abuse

I love it,,,,,very good move Nats !

Posted by: dashriprock | December 8, 2009 10:12 AM | Report abuse


Posted by: Section220 | December 8, 2009 10:14 AM | Report abuse

at the risk of being pilloried by my fellow posters, what makes anyone think that rodriguez is coming here to "mentor" a player who eventually will push him for playing time? most players are selfish and want to be on the field as much as possible to accumulate stats and make money. to pudge, this may be the best short-term opportunity to get immediate playing time than anywhere else.

Posted by: surly_w | December 8, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Another bad move by the Nats. I doubt any other team was willing to pay a 39 year old backup catcher 3 mill/year? He's hardly played the last couple of years. Are the Nats opening up their pocket book or just trying to dangle a known name out there??

Posted by: larry40 | December 8, 2009 10:01 AM | Report abuse


He actually just turned 38 less than two weeks ago. And he's played at least 120 games in six of the last seven seasons (121 last year, 115 in 2008). Sure, that's maybe a little lower than your typical starting catcher rates, but I wouldn't say that counts as "hardly played".

Sure, he's declined in performance, but still not a bad pickup. He's a popular player and a future HOFer. I like it.

Some good quotes from an old ESPN article about Pudge during his tenure in Detroit:

"I have total faith in his pitch-calling behind the plate," Verlander said. "It's hard to say how much he's helped me this year, but I know he has a lot. There are catchers that are great behind the plate, but can't hit a lick, and there are catchers that can hit, but aren't as good defensively. He gives you the best of both worlds."

"Quite frankly, I think a lot of people thought I wouldn't get along with Pudge," Tigers manager Jim Leyland said. "But it's been totally opposite. He plays hurt, he plays hard, and he comes to beat the other team. That's a manager's dream."

Posted by: combedge | December 8, 2009 10:24 AM | Report abuse

"Wah! The Nats never sign any free agents."
"Wah! The Nats signed a free agent."

"Wah! The Nats never spend any money."
"Wah! The Nats just spent too much money."

"Wah! The Nats have no depth on th bench."
"Wah! The Nats have too many players that want to start."

"Wah! Wah! Wah!"


Bottom line is this. Even at 38, Pudge is a better catcher (defensively and at the plate) than either Nieves or Bard. Flores has not caught a full season yet. And nobody knows if he'll be ready once the season begins.

Posted by: erocks33 | December 8, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

I love Rodiguez, he sets the bench mark for modern day catchers. But unless he has teaching skills that I'm not aware of, I don't get the move. Nieves has more then filled the roll that they say they need. I hope he can find a place to play. He deserves it.

Posted by: pstotts15 | December 8, 2009 10:40 AM | Report abuse

Just because a guy has had a storied career and is nearing the end of it, that doesn't mean he has any inclination--or ability--to be a mentor.

Here's an interesting tidbit from Ben Goessling's twitter feed:

"Talked to a couple people here today--they said a few of Pudge's former teammates claim he is no mentor."

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | December 8, 2009 10:45 AM | Report abuse

Joe Mauer isn't going to sign here next year. He's better then what we had. I wonder if some Nats fans will ever be happy.

As far as him being a mentor, if he plays somewhat like he's done, calls games well and isn't a negative clubhouse presence then Flores will learn from him whether he wants to mentor or not.

As far as him not wanting to give up ABs to Flores, good for him, I don't want him to think he's here to catch 50 games. If he's better then Flores then he'll push Flores to be better.

Posted by: SCNatsFan | December 8, 2009 10:51 AM | Report abuse

@flynnie -- very witty post. Too bad so many people don't get sarcasm.

Wow!! An amazing signing. With all respect to Dunn, I think this might be the best addition to the team since Soriano. There's no real downside to this. Even today, his production is above average for a major-league catcher, and there's no one more adept at handling a pitching staff or keeping runners honest. He can mentor the young pitchers and Jesus Flores. Moreover, if he does his job well and Flores proves to healthy and productive, the Nats will also be getting late-season offers from contending teams. (I'm assuming the Nats won't be contending come July, but if I'll be happy to be proven wrong).

Nicely done, Mr. Rizzo. I-Rod -- thanks for the confidence in the organization. Rodriguez has a pretty good track record in picking new teams on the fast track to the playoffs.

Posted by: fischy | December 8, 2009 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Wow even Phil Wood--while generally supporting the signing--acknowledges the criticisms of Pudge:

"Despite his lofty career numbers, Rodriguez is not without flaws. Sources with the Rangers and Marlins have said for years that Pudge has never been a big fan of pre-game meetings with that day's starter and the pitching coach to go over the other team's lineup. He's got an extremely accurate arm - check out his gaudy numbers throwing out would-be base stealers - but isn't really known as a great handler of pitching staffs."

Doesn't sound to me like a great mentor for either young pitchers or Flores.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | December 8, 2009 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Dont see how this can be seen as a bad move. At worst we get a declining HOFer who is know as an amazing defensive player for a young and inconsistent pitching staff. Flores still needs to show he can stay healthy, can learn a lot from simply watching a 38 year old thats been through it all(preparation and such). He also is better offensively then Brad or Nieves. Its not like we have a ton of money floating around in other contracts that this will restrict any future potential moves. Plus if Flores is delayed then we start the season out with Pudge, that is hardly a bad thing.

Posted by: Stu27 | December 8, 2009 11:04 AM | Report abuse

We'll have the offseason to determine whether these are simply stop-gap moves to try to avoid embarassment or whether they were designed to improve the team over time.

In the case of pitching, though, a short-term move can be a good long-term move.

Imagine the Nats land Garland and Smoltz (I don't think they'll get either, but let's just start here). Then perhaps your rotation is Garland, Lannan, Smoltz, Olsen, Stammen. That means the young starters return to the minors for more seasoning. Lannan learns under Smoltz, who only has to be league average to be an improvement on the mound.

Then team returns in 2011 adding Zimmermann and Strasburg, and you can throw in any AAA pitcher ready to make the jump.


The team is trying to prevent another debacle next year without suggesting that they'll compete yet.

Posted by: JohninMpls | December 8, 2009 11:18 AM | Report abuse

THIS is what we've been waiting for -- some real management! Looks like keeping Rizzo as GM is turning out to be the right decision. Now if Riggleman can produce what Rizzo is providing him, I'll enjoy going to Nats Park even more!


Posted by: luv2bikva | December 8, 2009 11:45 AM | Report abuse

WOW !!!!!!

Always a big Pudge fan!!! Great player for now; great mentor for Flores; great team leader!

Way to go Rizzo!!!

Go Nats!

Posted by: AWWNats | December 8, 2009 11:56 AM | Report abuse

"So if Pudge can get the pitcher to the plate faster by calling a fastball, that's a smart move."

Not if the hitters are sitting on the fastball.

Posted by: CoverageisLacking | December 8, 2009 9:29 AM
They almost ALWAYS look for the fastball first, regardless. Change speeds and locations and make the hitter do something to advance the runner, rather than throw a lot of hooks & change-ups and GIVE him second base.

Posted by: shanks1 | December 8, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I hate this move. Pudge is a prima donna, he doesn't think of himself as a backup, and no way he is worth $6 million. He's going to be unhappy by July....

Posted by: drobins7 | December 8, 2009 9:56 AM


Maybe. He might also be trade-bait to a contender in July.

Posted by: js_edit | December 8, 2009 12:24 PM | Report abuse

it makes me happy

Posted by: epostell | December 8, 2009 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Me alegro puñeta! Ya era hora que trayeran a alguien conocido a esta porquería de equipo. Bienvenido Iván!

Posted by: MrBalance | December 8, 2009 12:58 PM | Report abuse

good move, although still think you can put 90 losses in the bank

Posted by: TGT11 | December 8, 2009 1:00 PM | Report abuse

This guy hasn't been the same since he gave up the 'roids. Sounds like a poor way to spend $6 million. Can anyone say Dan Snyder? Bruce Smith? Deion Sanders?

Posted by: shoveit | December 8, 2009 1:01 PM | Report abuse

The Nats are not 1-2 years away from playoffs, more like 5-10 years. He will take away significant playing time for the younger players(catchers)..... I would say this is a good signing if the Nats went out and spent money on Lackey....I still predict the Nats will finish last in the NL east....

Posted by: larry40 | December 8, 2009 1:22 PM | Report abuse

Um, I've always liked Pudge (Pudge II that is, as Fisk had the nick first) and will enjoy seeing him, but do people here realize what year it is? It's 2010 and we'll be getting *that* Pudge, not the 2000 version. (At least I assume so, I haven't actually read the contract.)

It's another pointless expenditure, as far as I can see. $3M a year for a backup/might play a lot backstop who WILL NOT BE AROUND on the next contending team. Another, "hey, let's gun for that covetted 4th place spot instead of looking at the longterm" move by Rizzo.

Here Mike, maybe this will help, as you've been struggling so with the concept.

–verb (used with object)
1. to repair, esp. to dismantle and reassemble with new parts: to rebuild an old car.

[Contrast with the following...]


1. a small piece of material used to mend a tear or break, to cover a hole, or to strengthen a weak place: patches at the elbows of a sports jacket.

Posted by: B2O2 | December 8, 2009 1:55 PM | Report abuse

Ryan Church was just DFA by the Braves.

I would love a left field platoon of Church and Justin Maxwell--assuming Church's head is okay.

Just sayin....

Posted by: rushfari | December 8, 2009 2:38 PM | Report abuse

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