The Philadelphia Phillies announced the signing of another free agent on Friday morning. Unfortunately, he once again is not the name that fans are hoping to hear.
Sean Rodriguez is a 33-year-old (turns 34 in late April) multi-positional player with 11 years of big-league experience. The Miami, Florida native was originally drafted by the Anaheim (now Los Angeles) Angels in the third round of the 2003 MLB Amateur Draft out of a Miami high school.
Rodriguez rose through the Angels minor league system before finally making his Major League Baseball debut during the 2008 campaign. After appearing in 71 games for the Angels over the 2008-09 seasons he was dealt to the Tampa Bay Rays in December 2009 as the player-to-be-named-later in a trade in August of that year in which the Angels had landed pitcher Scott Kazmir.
Rodriguez would play five seasons with Tampa Bay, becoming a versatile piece for manager Joe Maddon, who used Rodriguez at every position other than pitcher or catcher during that time. He also appeared in a dozen postseason games with the Rays between 2010-13, with seven of those coming as a starter.
In December 2014, Tampa Bay shipped Rodriguez to the Pittsburgh Pirates where he would help the Bucs reach their third consecutive NL Wildcard Game. After two years in the Steel City, Rodriguez signed with the Atlanta Braves as a free agent. The Braves dealt him back to the Pirates in August 2017, and Rodriguez again played last season in Pittsburgh.
Over his 11-year career, Rodriguez has slashed .226/.300/.380 with 77 home runs and 119 doubles over 2,761 plate appearances. His best season came in 2016 with Pittsburgh when he produced career highs of 18 homers and 56 RBI, slashing .270/.349/.510 over 140 games.
How many players in the history of baseball have played 7 positions (not even including DH) in 3 straight seasons? Sean Rodriguez has.
And he's now played 6+ positions (not counting DH) in 6 straight seasons.
Anyone want to research that one? America needs to know! https://t.co/Jijw2eZjhQ
— Jayson Stark (@jaysonst) February 8, 2019
Particularly known for his versatility, Rodriguez has played the following positions, with total games in parentheses: first base (212), second base (335), shortstop (176), third base (130), left field (116), center field (25), right field (65), with no career appearances on the mound or behind the plate.
Rodriguez may be the best of a number of long shot veterans who the Phillies have signed and invited to spring training in Clearwater, Florida. That list includes catcher Rob Brantly, infielders Andrew Romine and Gregorio Petit, outfielder Shane Robinson, and lefty pitchers Edward Paredes and Jeremy Bleich.
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