Yankees Trade for Ivan Rodriguez About Ten Years Too Late
July 31, 2008
(New York, NY) – The non-waiver trade deadline is looming imminently, and trades are under way all over baseball. One such big deal went down last night as the New York Yankees acquired catcher Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez from the Detroit Tigers for reliever/former Chicago Cub/drinker/dumb guy Kyle Farnsworth. The Yankees were in desperate need of a good-hitting, great defensive catcher after Jorge Posada was forced to have season-ending surgery on his throwing shoulder. And the Yankees got their guy.
Or at least, he would have been their guy about ten years ago.
Rodriguez, 36, was unquestionably the top defensive catcher in baseball and an excellent hitter back in his days with the Texas Rangers about a decade ago. But more recently, he has failed to put up an OPS+ over 100 (ed. note: 100 is average) in four years.
The Yankees wanted Rodriguez, though, and they got him. It’s just that Yankees owner Hank Steinbrenner thought he was getting the Pudge from ten years ago.
“Look, it’s not that embarrassing,” Steinbrenner explained. “It could happen to anyone. When I was scouting Pudge, I was using old information. We’re still happy to have him, though, I think.”
The old information? A 1999 Topps baseball card.
“I picked up the card in a deal with my buddy for a 1932 Jamie Moyer rookie card and a couple pogs. I looked at the back and thought, ‘we gotta get this Rodriguez cat.’”
Rangers officials were confused when the Yankees kept trying to send them Farnsworth for Rodriguez. If he were worth anything, they say they would not have contacted the Tigers about it.