Sean Rodriguez has spent all or part of the last 11 seasons playing in the majors for four different franchises and spent two tours of duty with the Pittsburgh Pirates. Now, Rodriguez has signed a minor league deal with the Phillies and with it came an invitation to spring training, which opens next week in Clearwater.
Rodriguez, who turns 34 in late April, played with Pittsburgh last season and hit just .167/.277/.313 in 66 games with the Buccos. In his career, Rodriguez is a .226 hitter in 1,023 major league games. Rodriguez was initially drafted by the Angels – at that time known as the Anaheim Angels – in the third round of the 2003 Draft. He made his MLB debut with Anaheim in April of 2008, going 1-for-4 against Seattle.
Three times in his 11 seasons, Rodriguez has been traded with the most recent coming in August of 2017 when the Braves traded him to Pittsburgh where he had played in 2014 and 2015. In that deal, Atlanta acquired minor leaguer Joe Connor. Rodriguez has also been traded by the Angels to the Tampa Bay Rays in September, 2009 and from Tampa Bay to Pittsburgh for minor leaguer Buddy Borden in December, 2014.
So, why would the Phillies have an interest in a soon-to-be 34 year-old utility guy whit a .226 lifetime average. In a word: versatility. As with most seasons throughout his career, Rodriguez played at all four infield spots and all three outfield spots last season, making it the fourth season he had accomplished the feat. The fewest positions he’s played in one season was in his rookie year with the Angels when he played second, third and short. He started playing outfield the following season and added first base in 2010 with Tampa Bay. In his career, Rodriguez has never been behind the plate or on the mound.