“Pudge”Rodriguez: Out of Unemployment ?

Special For The Puerto Rico Daily Sun

MIAMI- It’s halfway of spring training and the New York Mets have been clear. They do not have any interest in bringing back Pedro Martinez. Neither in signing free-agent Ivan Rodriguez.

However, both could be soon out of unemployment.

According to reports from Los Angeles, the Dodgers have acknowledged potential interest in Martinez. According to reports, the eight-time All Star and three-time Cy Young has caught the attention of general Manager Ned Colletti. Not in reports but it have run around Miami that fellow dominican Manny Ramirez is behind the scenes.

Colletti have said he is “curious” abouth the possibilty of filling the team’s fifth spot in the starting rotation with the free-agent veteran right-hander.

Manager Joe Torre have been on the record lately that no hurler in spring training camp have a definitive claim in the fifth spot and Martinez could be a new possibilty to his rotation.

If Martinez is signed he will be returning to his pitching roots. The Manoguayabo native began his career in the Dodgers organization but was traded to the Montreal Expos for second baseman Delino DeShields in 1993.

Martinez chances increased after his good showcase in the first round of the World Baseball Classic two appearances against the Netherlands. In two games, 6 innnings pitched, 1 hit allowed, no runs and 6 strikeouts.

Both the Arizona D’Backs and the Pittsburgh Pirates explored the idea of signing him but took a pass because reportedly he was out of both teams salary range.

Martinez have been scouted that his velocity is down and he is far no more a five-inning starter.  Not counting his Mets days.

Martinez after posting a 117-37 record in seven seasons with the Boston Red Sox, had trouble staying healthy in New York and manged only one 200-inning season after signing a four-year-$53 million contract. With the Mets his track was an injury-plagued one with a record of  32-23. Last season he was 5-6 with a 5.61 ERA.

For Ivan Rodriguez, 2008 was also a dissapointing season. After being traded to the New York Yankees from the Detroit Tigers, were he spent 4 and a half seasons, he hit .219 with 3 RBI’s in 33 games. As soon the off-season started he was released.

As Martinez, it was rumored for weeks that Rodriguez could have been a perfect fit for the Mets. He could split time with Brian Schneider. However no matter it was rumoured that fellow puertorrican Carlos Delgado and Carlos Beltran were behind the scenes, Mets officials have made clear they still are commit it to Schneider and fellow boricua Ramon Castro as their second catcher.

The 36-year-old veteran of 18 major league seasons was also highly mentioned to return to Florida. However, the Marlins repeatedly have said are going with John Baker, their young left-handed hitting catcher. Also are committed to second stringer Mike Rabelo.

According to reports, Rodriguez destination could be Minnesota or Houston. And all thanks, so far to his impressive showcase at the World Baseball Classic.

The Vega Baja native was the Classic’s First Round Pool D MVP in San Juan hitting .545 (6 for 11) with 2 homers, five RBI’s and 13 total bases in three games, all won by Puerto Rico.

Rodriguez no doubt have shown potential suitors he is in shape and he can still hit. That ‘s why Twins and Astros scouts are expected to be first row behind the plate following closely Team Puerto Rico in Round 2 of the Classic in Miami’s Dolphin Stadium.

The Twins have acknowledged Joe Mauer, the reigning American League batting champion, has been hampered by back problems and there is no timetable when he will be back. Mauer has not played yet this spring training.

The 13 Gold Glover—more than any catcher in history—have been reported also been observed as a possibilty by the Astros to groom their future one-two punch Humberto Quintero and J.R. Towles.

Rodriguez have said he have resigned to the idea that he would sign only if he were the every day catcher. Also has let know possible suitors is looking for a fair deal but whatever gets its better than nothing.

Furthermore, he have wrote on paper his career success handling pitching staff. How he has taken multiple pitching staff to the playoffs specially the young 2003 World Champions Marlins.

Both Martinez and Rodriguez they know they will undoubtedly be future hall of famers. If the Mets reversed their decisions nobody knows. However both know they can still be a strong addition to a team, one as a pitcher the other as a catcher, and still play for the love of the game one more summer time.



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