Nationals Sign Future Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez

Patrick McClainContributor IDecember 8, 2009

NEW YORK - AUGUST 25:  Ivan Rodriguez #7 of the Texas Rangers bats against the New York Yankees  on August 25, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo BY Al Bello/Getty Images)
Al Bello/Getty Images

On day one of baseball's Winter Meetings in Indianapolis, the Washington Nationals made the most surprising move of the off-season: inking 38-year old future Hall of Fame Catcher Ivan Rodriguez to a two-year $6 million deal.

While $6 million is not a lot of money to devote to a player, many people find this is a foolish move for an organization without beau-coup dollars to throw around.  Last season, he hit an uninspiring .249/.280/.384 with 10 HR while splitting time between the Astros and Rangers.

This does, however, underscore his defense.  Pudge is still a fine defensive catcher to have behind the plate.  Also, Pudge would be a good person to have around to help develop a young pitching staff.

The Nationals do have a young pitching staff at the Major League level (not to mention a highly touted pitching prospect that you may have heard of named Stephen Strasburg).  For this reason, I think it's very valuable for the Nats to have a veteran catcher who can help mold these young pitchers.

Overall, I don't think this signing is the atrocity that everyone is making it out to be. Jesus Flores should lose some playing time to Pudge, but I believe I-Rod will help the National pitching staff.

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