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Marlins sign Sean Rodríguez to minor league deal

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The Miami native can handle any defensive assignment.

Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN’s Jeff Passan reported Tuesday that the Marlins have scooped up another depth piece by agreeing to a minor league deal with Sean Rodríguez.

Now entering his age-35 season, Rodríguez slashed .223/.348/.375 (94 wRC+) in 139 plate appearances for the Phillies in 2019. Despite the limited workload, he was utilized at every defensive position except for catcher. Yes, that includes pitcher—he handled mop-up duty in that wild 19-11 Marlins comeback victory on Aug. 23.

Historically, Rodríguez is a much better hitter against left-handers, though his splits last season were less pronounced than usual.

Overall, Rodríguez has seen regular season MLB action with five different franchises, most memorably the Rays (2010-14) and Pirates (two separate stints, 2015-16 and 2017-18). Aside from his 2016 power surge—18 HR that season, but only 14 HR total since then—he’s been a below-average offensive presence. His main contributions come with his glove(s) and intangibles.

Even with active rosters expanding to 26 spots in 2020, it will be difficult for Rodríguez to break camp with the team barring injuries or other unforeseen circumstances. He’s a Jon Berti type, though without anywhere near as much impact as a baserunner at this stage of his career. Rather, I see him being in the same tier as fellow non-roster invitee Gosuke Katoh.

Born and raised in Miami, Rodríguez was originally drafted by the Angels in the third round out of Braddock High School. Robert Rodríguez, who was promoted to Marlins assistant hitting coach this offseason, is his older brother. No relation to Eddy Rodríguez (new Marlins catching coach).

Marlins insider Craig Mish tweeted Monday night that the club was working to sign more non-roster invitees before formal Spring Training workouts begin next week. One down, maybe a few more to go? Adding Rodríguez brings the total up to 64 players expected at major league camp.

Fish Stripes will keep you updated.