The Atlanta Braves decided to celebrate Thanksgiving by giving out a contract to a free agent. The Braves inked shortstop Sean Rodriguez to a two-year, deal Thursday morning. It is reportedly worth more than $11 million, and will be completed pending a physical. Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports was first with the news.
Sources: #Braves in agreement with free-agent infielder Sean Rodriguez on two-year deal for more than $11M, pending physical.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) November 24, 2016
Atlanta Braves Sign Sean Rodriguez
Rodriguez had, in many respects, a career-year with the Pittsburgh Pirates last season. A .234/.303/.390 hitter over his nine-year career, the 31-year-old hit .270/.349/.510 in 2016. He set career-highs in home runs (18) and games played (140). If he can build on his strong campaign, the Braves may have found a solid, veteran role player for their young team.
Rodriguez’s primary asset is his versatility. He’s capable of playing first base, second base, third base, and shortstop, as well as all three outfield positions. However, he spent most of last season at either shortstop or first base. The Braves will likely use Rodriguez in a super utility role, though he could serve as the primary shortstop until top prospect Ozzie Albies is ready to take over. Albies is recovering from a fractured elbow, and it is unclear when he will be able to join the big league roster.
Rodriguez was originally drafted in 2003 by the Los Angeles Angels. Since then, he has seen time with the Angels, the Tampa Bay Rays, and Pittsburgh. He has collected 67 home runs, 112 doubles, and 259 RBI during his time in the Majors. He is perhaps best known for his fiery personality. He famously once got into a heated altercation with a water cooler, though he did later apologize to the cooler.