Boras: Two-year offer sealed Pudge deal
Backstop turned down more lucrative one-year options
INDIANAPOLIS -- Agent Scott Boras confirmed on Wednesday afternoon that catcher Ivan Rodriguez agreed to terms with the Nationals because he was offered a two-year deal.
Boras said other teams offered Rodriguez a one-year deal worth a lot more money than what Washington was offering and those teams also wanted Rodriguez to play every day.
As a member of the Nationals, Rodriguez will serve as a backup catcher and mentor to Jesus Flores, who is also a Boras client.
"It was a decision where Pudge wanted to stay there for a couple of years, and that's what it took to bring him there, because everybody else was offering higher value on a one-year basis," said Boras, who added Rodriguez was OK with being a backup. "The Nationals defined the role and [general manager Mike] Rizzo was very candid about it. We told Pudge. His hope is to get to 3,000 hits."
The Nationals have not officially announced the signing of Rodriguez, pending a physical. Rodriguez is expected to be in Washington on Thursday or Friday to take a physical, and a news conference is expected soon thereafter.
"He is going to bring a lot of information to a locker room about winning, game calling and performing under pressure -- all those things," Boras said.
Jack McKeon, a special advisor to Florida owner Jeffrey Loria, agrees with Boras. McKeon, who called Rodriguez one of his favorite players, managed the backstop when both were with the Marlins in 2003 when they won their second World Series title by beating the Yankees in six games.
"He was a catalyst when we won our World Series in 2003. [He is a] super guy," McKeon said. "I told Rizzo that I thought it was a [heck] of a pickup for the simple reason that the Nationals have an experienced catcher with those kids.
"The leadership quality that he had when he was with me, he is really going to help that young pitching staff. I thought it might have been the best move of the Winter Meetings."
Rodriguez has played in 14 All-Star Games and won 13 Gold Glove Awards, most by a catcher and tied for fourth most at any position. The 1999 American League MVP Award winner also has more runs (1,277), hits (2,618) and doubles (526) than any other backstop in Major League history.
Rodriguez served as a backup for the Rangers after being acquired from the Astros in August. He played in a combined 121 games and hit .249 with 10 home runs and 47 RBIs in 2009.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.