Pudge Rodriguez Signs With Astros

An article by posted on March 16, 2009

ESPN is reporting that the Astros have signed  catcher Ivan Rodriguez to a one year deal worth $1.5 million dollars.

The Houston Chronicle had first reported that the future hall of Fame catcher was very close to signing a deal with the Houston Astros, but it looks like it is now official.

In a move that would give the Astros a boost behind the plate, future Hall of Fame catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez appears close to signing with the club.

After initially shying away from Rodriguez because of economics, the Astros have been in intense negotiations lately with Rodriguez’s agent, Scott Boras. It’s extremely unlikely the deal will be finalized today because Rodriguez would have to take and pass a physical for anything to be finalized, but the chances look bright for the Astros because money is not an issue anymore.

“We’ve re-engaged with him,” Astros general manager Ed Wade told the Chronicle. “I’ve had several conversations with (Boras). He’s cycled back toward us and there seems like there might be an environment to get something done. We’ve had several conversations and we’re trying to see if there’s a fit for us.”

Rodriguez has been one of Team Puerto Rico’s brightest stars in the World Baseball Classic, and his play has drawn raves from top Astros scouts Fred Nelson and Paul Ricciarini.

I’ve been watching the WBC games very closely and Pudge looks like he’s in the best shape of his career. He seems driven, and even his bat speed looks more improved than what I saw from him last season with the Yankees.

Several, actually dozens of reports this off season, have said the Mets had more than just a passing interest in Pudge, but were unwilling to make a play for him unless they were able to unload incumbent Ramon Castro.

The deal is worth $1.5 million and includes an additional $1.5 million in incentives.

Hat tip to Andrew from The ‘Ropolitans for the updated info.

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