Wandy Rodriguez was reportedly set to sign a minor-league deal with the Phillies two weeks ago, but the contract was voided when the 36-year-old left-hander failed a physical exam.
And now David O’Brien of the Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that Rodriguez has signed a minor-league deal with the Braves.
Rodriguez was limited to just six starts last season due to knee and forearm injuries and also made just 12 starts in 2013. Prior to that he was a solid mid-rotation starter, posting a sub-4.00 ERA every season from 2008-2012.
He’ll compete for the fifth spot in Atlanta’s rotation and according to O’Brien the deal will be worth $2 million if he makes the team, which has apparently has lower standards for pitcher health than Philadelphia.
Mets minor league outfielder Tim Tebow hit a two-run home run during Tuesday afternoon’s Grapefruit League game against the Tigers. It’s his first spring training home run since beginning his professional baseball career in late 2016.
Tebow, 32, is, of course, a former college football legend. He had a much-anticipated NFL career that ended up brief and disappointing, prompting a change of vocation. Tebow was passable with Double-A Binghamton in 2018, but the Mets promoted him to Triple-A for the 2019 season anyway. That was a mistake. Through 264 plate appearances, Tebow hit .163/.240/.255, ranking as the worst hitter in the minor leagues.
Tebow also walked along with the homer in three plate appearances on Tuesday. While it’s a solid early showing, Tebow participating with the other big leaguers or soon-to-be big leaguers in spring training is something of a sideshow. If he were a regular ballplayer working his way up the ranks, he likely would have been cut after last season. He certainly wouldn’t have been given an invitation to big league camp the next year.
There are aspects of the Tebow situation to respect: that he’s athletic and dedicated enough to attempt a professional career in another sport, for example. He moves tickets and merchandise. But one can’t help but wonder about the roster spot he’s holding that would otherwise go to a more deserving player.