The Pittsburgh Pirates have acquired utility man Sean Rodriguez from the Tampa Bay Rays for a Player to Be Named Later and cash, according to Bill Brink of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The Pirates also designated Gaby Sanchez for assignment in order to make room for the newly acquired Rodriguez.
— Bill Brink (@BrinkPG) December 1, 2014
The 29-year old was designated for assignment by the Rays last week in order to make room for the newly acquired Ernesto Frieri:
#Rays have signed RHP Ernesto Frieri to a one-year contract and have designated INF/OF Sean Rodriguez for assignment.
— Tampa Bay Rays (@RaysBaseball) November 26, 2014
The former 3rd round pick has played 300 or more career innings at 1B, 2B, 3B, SS and LF—therefore he can provide some versatility off of the bench for the Pirates. However, Rodriguez is coming off one of the worst offensive years of his career. The righty posted a .211/.258/.443 slash across 259 plate appearances in 2014, while also seeing his BB% drop again to an abysmal 3.9%—something it’s been doing since he posted a 8.7% walk rate in 2011.
The righty might have also found some power of late, though. His ISO—isolated power—has increased each season since 2012. From his .113 mark in 2012, Rodriguez’s ISO now stands at a respectable .232 and has contributed to his career-high 12 homers last season—as well as his 44 extra base hits over the last 2 seasons.
Rodriguez—who is a free agent in 2016—is projected by Tim Dierkes of MLBTR to earn $2 million through arbitration this offseason.