The Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to a one-year deal worth $1 million with infielder Sean Rodriguez in order to avoid going into arbitration with the 27-year-old. Roger Mooney of The Tampa Tribune reported the deal. It’s a good deal for the Rays, because they are able to give Rodriguez a short deal in order to avoid going through the hassle that arbitration brings. As for Rodriguez, he isn’t in the best point to be in an arbitration hearing after a paltry .281 OBP with just a .113 ISO to show for it.
It was a huge down year for him after two above-average seasons in 2010 and 2011, and the only sources of value that Rodriguez was able to bring to the table last season were as a base-runner and defensively. He’s always been solid in both regards, and it should be noted that Rodriguez suffered from some bad luck last year with a .260 BABIP. He usually has low BABIP totals, but that average is .21 points below his career total.
Likely headed for just a part-time role in the 2013 season, Rodriguez is a prime candidate for a bounce back year. Not too many player’s under 30 go from being quality starting infielders to below-average due to offensive performance, especially after posting a low BABIP. Rodriguez has never been a good hitter, but he’s at least mediocre in that regard and brings some pop to the table despite some poor contact totals (career .225 batting average).
The power will bounce back next season and so will the overall offensive production. This all equates to another excellent deal for the Rays.
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