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Career Paths: Ivan Rodriguez

Career Paths
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Texas Rangers 1991-2002

Signed by the Rangers as an amateur free agent in 1988, the 19-year-old Puerto Rican debuted with the big club in 1991.  Rodriguez budded offensively in 1994, hitting .298/.360/.488 with 16 homeruns; he would never again bat below .300 in his first tenure in Texas.  In 1999, the 27-year-old won AL MVP honors after hitting .332/.356/.558 with a career high 35 homers and 113 RBI.  The Rangers meanwhile, won their third straight AL West title, but were eliminated by the Yankees in the ALDS each time. The standard bearer for AL catchers, Pudge appeared in the All Star game and won a Gold Glove each season from 1992-2001.


While productive when healthy, Rodriguez appeared in just 91 and 111 games in 2001 and 2002 and was not offered a contract extension by the Rangers. On the open market for the first time, he eventually inked a 1-year, $10 million deal with Florida on January 28, 2003.



Florida Marlins 2003

Rodriguez was instrumental in making the 2003 Marlins one of the most unlikely world champions in the modern era.  Working with a talented, young pitching staff that included Josh Beckett, Carl Pavano, Brad Penny and Dontrelle Willis, Rodriguez provided veteran leadership and gave the up-and-coming squad instant credibility.  He hit .297/.369/.474 with 16 homeruns and 85 RBI during his one season in Miami. Pudge may be best remembered for holding onto the ball after a violent home plate collision with San Francisco’s J.T. Snow that clinched the NLDS and for his post save pecks on the cheek with closer Ugueth Urbina during the World Series. Once again a free agent, Rodriguez surprised the baseball world by signing a 4-year, $40 million contract on February 6, 2004 with the lowly Tigers, who were coming off a 119 loss season.



Detroit Tigers 2004-2008

Rodriguez’s renaissance continued in Detroit. The veteran catcher appeared in 4 All Star Games and received 3 Gold Gloves during his tenure with the Tigers.  His time in the Motor City was highlighted by a trip to the World Series in 2006.  On July 30, 2008, with the Tigers out of contention and the Yankees in need of catching depth due to Jorge Posada’s season ending injury, Rodriguez was dealt to the Bronx Bombers for reliever Kyle Farnsworth.





New York Yankees 2008

Wearing No. 12 – his usual No. 7 having been retired – Rodriguez split time with Jose Molina in New York.  In 33 games in pinstripes, he hit a miserable .219.  A free agent following the season, Pudge returned to the Lone Star State, inking a 1-year, $1.5 million deal with Houston on March 20, 2009.









Houston Astros 2009

With his No. 7 also retired in Houston (Craig Biggio), Rodriguez wore No. 77 with Astros.  The well traveled veteran’s 93-game stint with the team was highlighted by his 300th career homerun on May 17.  On August 18, it was announced that Rodriguez had cleared waivers and was being dealt back to the Rangers for two minor leaguers.








Texas Rangers 2009

While his return to Arlington made a good storyline, Rodriguez wasn’t nearly as productive this time around.  In 28 games, he hit .245/.279/.388.  Once again a free agent, Pudge inked a 2-year, $6 million contract with Washington on December 11.











Washington Nationals 2010-Present

Nearing age 40 and creeping up on 3,000 hits, Rodriguez has spent his time in Washington managing the team’s young pitching staff – including catching the major league debut of rookie phenom Stephen Strasburg in 2010 – and mentoring catcher Wilson Ramos.  With his contract up after the 2011 campaign and his production falling, Pudge’s remarkable run is likely near its end.






Ivan Rodriguez @ Wikipedia

Ivan Rodriguez @

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