Houston Astros: Could Ivan Rodriguez Return to Houston?

Zak SchmollAnalyst IDecember 23, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 12:  Ivan Rodriguez #7 of the Washington Nationals talks with teammate Ross Detwiler #48 after Detwiler was taken out of the game against the New York Mets at Citi Field on September 12, 2011 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez might be an option for the Houston Astros. According to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports on Twitter, the Astros might not keep Humberto Quintero and acquiring Rodriguez is a "possibility."

This would be a solid move for the Houston Astros.

The 40-year-old Rodriguez did not see very much playing time last year. Part of that was due to the emergence of Wilson Ramos of the Washington Nationals, but part of it was due to Rodriguez's ineffectiveness.

He was only able to hit .218 with two home runs and 19 RBI. Of course, he only appeared in 44 games and got 124 at-bats.

Why then would I advocate this move?

The Houston Astros have a lot of very young pitchers. Pitchers need to rely on their catcher to suggest the absolute best pitches. Of course, the pitcher does have some input as well, but it is a mutual process.

Rodriguez has been around baseball for 20 seasons. He is one of the best, if not the absolute best, defensive catcher that baseball has seen in a long time. He knows how to work with the pitchers and help them develop, kind of like he did with the Florida Marlins in 2003.

That is why I like this move. Yes, adding a 40-year-old catcher doesn't seem to be consistently the Houston Astros' rebuilding process. However, for one year, the expertise and knowledge that he could provide to a young pitching staff would be very helpful. There is an old saying that says that you should "learn from the best." Rodriguez is one of the best catchers of all time and could possibly end up in Cooperstown before it is all said and done.

It is a big risk to obviously sign a 40-year-old at a very rigorous position. He might get injured, or he might not be able to physically handle the load. However, I think that just his presence and knowledge would be enough to help support a young pitching staff and aid in their development.