The Marlins Want Pudge, Pudge Wants Playing Time

For Ivan Rodriguez the World Baseball Classic has presented an opportunity for the veteran catcher to show major league teams that he's still capable of playing baseball. He's taken advantage of the chance so far, too, hitting .625 with two home runs and four RBI through Puerto Rico's first two games.

Pudge's performance has been enough to help him draw interest from a couple of teams, in particular, the team he helped lead to a World Series championship in 2003, the Florida Marlins. The only problem is that while the Marlins want Rodriguez, and Rodriguez would like to play for the Marlins, Pudge also wants to be the No. 1 guy. The Marlins would rather he split time.

"Playing time is a primary issue, yes," said Scott Boras, Rodriguez's agent. "We've had some brief discussions with [the Marlins]. Again, Pudge's position on the club really is largely dependent upon what kind of playing time they want to give him."

The Marlins would rather Rodriguez split time behind the plate with John Baker, and I can't blame them for it. Baker only played in 61 games for the Fish last season, but he did put up an impressive OPS of .839 in his 197 at bats, and he is a left-handed hitter. Now, he only threw out eight of the 48 men who tried to steal a base on him, so Pudge is still the better option defensively.

Still, if Pudge is thinking that his batting average in the WBC against teams like Panama and the Netherlands is really enough for the Marlins to believe he has been rejuvenated, well, he's an idiot. He's still a 37-year-old catcher whom nobody has shown real interest in until now. To get greedy at this point would be suicide.

The Marlins Want Pudge, Pudge Wants Playing Time originally appeared on MLB FanHouse on Tue, 10 Mar 2009 12:45:00 EST . Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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