Three reasons to watch the Rays in 2015
| Rob Neyer
Rotowire: Mar 20 / 4:38p ET
News: Manager Clint Hurdle said Friday that Rodriguez has made the Bucs' Opening Day roster, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
Impact: The Pirates plan on deploying the versatile Rodriguez as a backup around the diamond and possibly even in the outfield. The team has more depth than it's had in the past, and Rodriguez will have to earn his playing time. He figures to see between 200-250 at-bats, barring injury.
Rotowire: Mar 19 / 7:51p ET
News: Rodriguez went 0-for-3 against the Orioles on Thursday and has just four hits in 26 spring at-bats.
Impact: Rodriguez will serve as a utility infielder who might also see the odd start in the outfield. The Pirates figure to match him up mostly against left-handed pitching -- Rodriguez offers a career .746 OPS versus southpaws -- but there is no clearcut path to playing time, barring injury. Rodriguez will also have to compete with Jung-Ho Kang for at-bats as the season progresses.
Rotowire: Jan 16 / 2:08p ET
News: Rodriguez agreed to a one-year, $1.9 million contract with the Pirates on Friday, avoiding arbitration, Tom Singer of MLB.com reports.
Impact: Rodriguez hit a career-high 12 home runs in 259 plate appearances last year, but his walk rate plummeted to 3.9%, resulting in a career-worst .258 OBP. The 29-year-old was afforded a fresh start after coming over from Tampa Bay in a trade last month, but he's no lock to make the Pirates' roster (especially with the addition of Jung-Ho Kang) and would likely only be a utility option if kept.