Pudge wants to play ball, but will it be with the New York Mets?February 16, 2009
According to recent reports, Ivan Rodriguez prefers Mets, Marlins or Astros.
As a Mets fan I am a bit unsure what to think or expect from this. Pudge was once the best catcher in MLB along with being one of my favorite ballplayers. A lifetime .300 hitter, who has seen better days. His power numbers are on the decline and as a catcher can he hold up every day? In 2007 he did bat .281 with over 500 plate appearances. Last year he hit .295 in 82 games for the Tigers, then finished with a .276 batting average after struggling at the plate with the Yankees. So, maybe, just maybe this could work for the Mets. Brian Schneider is a fair defensive catcher, but a liability at the plate. Lets also not forget that last season the Mets carried three catchers at various time, which is just unacceptable. So, maybe this move isn’t so off the cuff and so off the mark. We can not expect 150 games, but why not 120. Add into the mix the possibility of Pudge playing an occasional 1B for the aging Delgado and this starts to fit together even better. This also allows the Mets to get Castros bat into the lineup along with a serviceable Rodriguez and this offense should potentially perform better.
My gut says the Mets should roll the dice. We are not talking Manny money with Rodriguez and maybe he’ll sign a one or two year incentive laden contract. There doesn’t seem to be a line of teams jumping at the opportunity to grab him, but maybe his veteran leadership can help a team with no true identity. Admittingly, the catcher position is one area that the Mets can improve upon form an offensive standpoint. Pudge, feels that the team that signs him “is going to win the lotto when he signs,” was quoted Sunday night in an interview with The Associated Press.
I can honestly say up until today the idea of Pudge playing for the Mets hasn’t crossed my mind (since 2003), but after looking over his numbers is just not a horrible risk. It’s a risk that the Mets should take, if they are out of the Manny sweepstakes. Especially if they can do this on the cheap.
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