Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Sean Rodriguez is a free agent who could be had for a relatively small sum. Over the past three seasons, during which he was arbitration-eligible, he received roughly a $500k increase each season and made just $1.9 million last season. Since he played 139 games last year, he could find a two-year deal for $4.8 million with a team option for $3 million on the open market.
Such a deal would be cheaper than Aviles’ contract with the Cleveland Indians that he inked back in 2013, mostly due to the fact that Aviles was better than Rodriguez in the few years before the deal. This said, the 30-year-old brings power to the plate, although it somewhat tapered off last season. He still makes plenty of hard and medium contact, though, and his 12 homeruns in just 259 plate appearances during 2014 states the potential he has.
Rodriguez, however, also has several drawbacks. He has struck out more than 25% of the time in each of the past three seasons, and his total offensive output is league-average at best. Aside from two two-win seasons in 2010 and 2011, he has been roughly a replacement level player that can play nearly any position. This, of course, is what the Indians need from the next Mike Aviles, and Rodriguez is a much better defender than the outgoing Indian.
I am not convinced that signing Sean Rodriguez is a better option to letting Jose Ramirez become the utility man, but he is an option. It’s always good to have plenty of options for a particular position, and he would certainly serve a purpose. There’s a market for 30-year-old super-utility-men, but there’s also a valid argument for keeping a 23-year-old speedster who’s already on the roster.