Nationals, Ivan Rodriguez Agree to Two-Year Deal
With Jesus Flores coming off shoulder surgery, Washington was seeking a veteran catcher to handle every-day duties for the first month or two of the season, until Flores is fully recovered, and then mentor Flores. And while it took a two-year deal to get Rodriguez to the woeful Nats, the team expects prospect Derek Norris to be ready in 2012.
Rodriguez, 38, last year passed Carlton Fisk for the career record in games caught. He has won 13 Gold Gloves, been to 14 All-Star Games and is a career .299 hitter. Rodriguez, the 1999 AL MVP, is also the all-time leader in games started at catcher and total chances and putouts at the position and is tied with Gary Carter for sixth all-time in home runs as a catcher (298).
Washington catchers last year hit .250 with a .310 on-base percentage and 121 strikeouts.