For Yankees fans, the acquisition of Ivan Rodriguez from the Detroit Tigers was a warm and welcome addition to a team that was starving for catching help. What exactly, though, can I-Rod bring to the team and fantasy baseball owners?
I really like Pudge Rodriguez as a serviceable catcher in fantasy baseball leagues—no matter the size of your league. To date, he has recorded a .295 batting average in 302 at bats. He has shown moderate pop in his bat, hitting five home runs on the season, while scoring 33 runs and driving in 32.
The numbers, in truth, are fairly pedestrian, but they certainly won't hurt in most fantasy leagues.
I do see I-Rod's production picking up a tad with the trade to the more potent Yankee lineup. He will find more playing time than current Yankees' catcher Jose Molina, and will produce slightly closer to replacement level for them, if not a little better.
I see I-Rod hitting anywhere from 3-6 more home runs with a solid batting average (around .280-.285). The new Yankees stadium can be an intimidating place to play, but the former All-Star and Gold Glover should have no problem adjusting to his new home.
Look for some solid production in the home stretch for I-Rod. He should compliment the Yankee lineup and pitching staff nicely. He will be a key component for them if they qualify for the 2008 MLB playoffs.