Agent Scott Boras told reporters at the winter meetings yesterday that Ivan Rodriguez won’t be re-signing with the Nationals, saying: “I think their plan at the moment excludes him.”
Rodriguez backed up Wilson Ramos this year, but the Nationals still have Jesus Flores around and there are a couple intriguing catcher prospects coming up through the minors.
As for where the future Hall of Famer may wind up, Boras indicated that Rodriguez will be looking for a backup role and “there are still a number of teams that are evaluating him and that situation.”
Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post speculates that the Marlins could be a fit, as Rodriguez won a World Series there in 2003 and could play sparingly behind starter John Buck.
As we noted, Bryce Harper was ejected in the Phillies-Mets game for arguing balls and strikes, punctuating the ejection with a fairly aggressive argument in which he sorta shoved his manager into the ump, had to be held back by teammates and may very well have earned himself a suspension.
We’ll see about the suspension part, but even if he didn’t anger Rob Manfred over all of that, he did annoy his teammate, Jake Arrieta, who was on the mound last night. Here were Arrieta’s comments after the game:
“Look, I mean, [Harper’s] got to understand we need him in right field,” Arrieta said. “I don’t care how bad the umpire is. He wasn’t great for either side. I’m out there trying to make pitches, and he misses some calls. So what? We need him out there. I need him in right field, I need him at the plate, and he wasn’t there. So that hurts.
“We were flat from start to finish. Two-hour delay, it doesn’t matter. We have to be ready to play. We weren’t, and it showed. The dugout was flat. The defense wasn’t good. Didn’t throw the ball well as a staff overall. We got beat. We started at 8:45. I don’t think our guys were ready to play. We’ve got to come out tomorrow ready to play.”
For Harper’s part he was contrite after the game, echoing Arrieta’s words about needing to keep a level head and about him being more useful in the game than in the clubhouse. Still, he got told by his teammate. And seems to know he got told.