If the Dodgers decide against using the trade market to fill their need at second base, the free agent market isn’t exactly flush with options. But one that may fit is Sean Rodriguez, in whom they are reportedly interested.
Robert Murray at FanRag Sports first reported the Dodgers’ interested in Rodriguez on Tuesday, and on Friday Chris Cotillo of SB Nation reported that LA was one of six teams interested in the utility man.
Both also mentioned the Pirates interested in Rodriguez returning to them.
Rodriguez’s main asset is his versatility. He started games at every infield position and both corner outfield positions in 2016 or the Pirates, and in his career has started everywhere but pitcher and catcher. He rates above average defensively at second base and essentially won’t kill a team at his other positions. Well, maybe shortstop, but the Dodgers have a man there.
Rodriguez turns 32 in April, and is coming off a career year, when he hit .270/.349/.510 with 18 home runs in 342 plate appearances. It was just his second year with double-digit home runs, beating his previous career high (12) by 50%.
In his eight-year career before 2016, Rodriguez hit .228/.295/.371, an 85 OPS+, including .233/.285/.398 from 2013-2015.
How he likely fits the Dodgers is at the very least against left-handed pitchers, hitting .249/.344/.411 in his career against southpaws. In 2016 he was even better, punishing left-handers to the tune of .286/.415/.519.
He might fit in tandem with the left-handed Chase Utley, should the Dodgers decide to go that route.
Rodriguez played with Andrew Friedman’s Rays from 2010-2014, acquired from the Angels in September 2009 for current Dodgers pitcher Scott Kazmir.
Rodriguez made $2.5 million with the Pirates in 2016. For what it’s worth, MLB Trade Rumors projected Rodriguez to ink a deal worth $12 million over two years, and Jon Heyman of FanRag Sports guessed 2 years and $10 million.