With the Baltimore Orioles seemingly in need a catcher — a starter, backup, or otherwise — while phenom Matt Wieters may start the year in Triple-A to get some seasoning, there have been talks of former Oriole Gregg Zaun taking the role.
However, there has been another name of late who has joined the fray — Ivan “Pugde” Rodroguez.
Baltimore Sun blogger and columnist Peter Schmuck brought up this topic in a recent blog post, as he says:
From the Baltimore Sun: Former Oriole Gregg Zaun remains the free-agent catcher most likely to end up in the Orioles lineup on Opening Day, but there have been conversations with agent Scott Boras about veteran Ivan Rodriguez (left). Whether he would be a good fit to mentor Matt Wieters and eventually step aside for the O’s top minor league prospect has been a subject of some discussion in the O’s front office.
My take: It strikes me as a better fit for the pitching staff, which is no small consideration, but I still doubt IRod ends up here. Unless the player development people secretly believe Wieters is farther away than they are saying, it would be bound to create an uncomfortable situation at some point in the season.
Peter is right. There’s no way the Orioles should be going after an over-the-hill catcher at this point. Pudge is obviously a shadow of himself from his days as an All-Star with the Rangers, and his time — as a smaller version of himself — in Detroit.
He may be a serviceable catcher, but he in my mind isn’t good enough to be a regular. I’m sure he would be a good team leader and a gamer; however, as Peter alluded to — would he be fine being a place holder for Wieters?
I’d say no, and I’m sure he thinks himself as an MLB starter. If this was the Rodriguez circa 2005 or so, I’d say give him the spot and give Wieters all the time in the world to get himself MLB ready.
As good as Rodriguez has been in his career, it’s a pass on him, and let’s just get a guy who will be willing to keep Matt’s spot warm.