Braves add super-utility player Sean Rodriguez on two-year deal
For some families, holiday traditions include food, games, or old stand by stories. But for the Braves, it's about player maneuvers.
Atlanta added Sean Rodriguez on a two-year deal, a move first reported by FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal on Thanksgiving afternoon and made official on Nov. 30. This comes after the 2014 Christmas Eve leak — at a Honey Baked Ham, no less — that the team was bringing in catcher A.J. Pierzynski, or last New Year's Eve when the Braves announced it had inked pitcher Kyle Kendrick.
Rodriguez, who will be 32 in April, hit .270/.349/.510 last season with the Pirates, which included a career-high 18 home runs in 342 plate appearances. He played in 140 games in 2016, also a career high.
He's played first base, second, shortstop, third and all three outfield spots at the major league level, but spent most of last season in Pittsburgh at shortstop (177 2/3 innings) and first (174 1/3).
The Braves don't have an immediate opening for Rodriguez, though he may slide into a super utility role that Jace Peterson has often been discussed for.
Or speaking of Peterson, the right-handed Rodriguez could platoon there with the lefty Peterson as prized prospect Ozzie Albies' arrival date in the majors is unclear after he suffered a fractured elbow.
A similar situation could develop at third with incumbent Adonis Garcia seeing drops in his slugging (.406) and OPS+ (91) after those numbers sat at .497 and 115, respectively, during his abbreviated 2015 in Atlanta.
One of Rodriguez's most memorable on-field moments came at the expense of a Gatorade cooler, which he lit into during the 2015 Wild Card Game against the Cubs. To his credit, Rodriguez issued an apology to the cooler the next day.
A career .234/.303/.390 hitter with 67 homers, 112 doubles, 13 doubles and 259 RBI, Rodriguez's nine-year career has included stops with the Rays, Angels and Pirates. He was originally drafted by the Angels in the third round in 2003 out of Miami's Braddock High School.
Follow Cory McCartney on Twitter @coryjmccartney and Facebook. His books, 'Tales from the Atlanta Braves Dugout: A Collection of the Greatest Braves Stories Ever Told,' and 'The Heisman Trophy: The Story of an American Icon and Its Winners.' are now available.
Sources: #Braves in agreement with free-agent infielder Sean Rodriguez on two-year deal for more than $11M, pending physical.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 24, 2016
- A.J. Pierzynski
- Adonis Garcia
- Atlanta Braves
- FOX Sports South
- Jace Peterson
- Los Angeles Angels
- Pittsburgh Pirates
- Sean Rodríguez