Pittsburgh Pirates: Neal Huntington on Sean Rodriguez’s Future

Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: David Kohl-USA TODAY Sports /

The Pittsburgh Pirates have had a quite a boost off the bench from utility player Sean Rodriguez.  Many fans would love to see the Pirates bring back the pending free agent. Some news on his future here:

By the end of the 2015 Major League Baseball season, Sean Rodriguez was the hottest topic of conversation around Pittsburgh sports.  This was not because of his play, but rather the beating he gave the Gatorade Cooler after being ejected from the playoff game.  Sean Rodriguez entered free agency in 2015-2016 after just one year with the Pittsburgh Pirates.

Rodriguez was not hard to retain after hitting just .246 with a .642 OPS in the 2015 season.  Neal Huntington and staff were able to strike a deal with Sean-Rod on December 17th.  The now 31-year-old, agreed to a base salary of 2.5 million dollars for the 2016 season.  He was also able to earn up to 500k in incentives, which he likely will earn.  Well, that deal is looking like one of the best ones in baseball.  Sean Rodriguez has had the best season of his career.

A Better Year

This year Sean Rodriguez has played all over the field as usual.  He has seen time at second base, shortstop, first base, third base, left field, right field, and even center field.  Yes, he played every position other than catcher and pitcher this season.  Sean-Rod has always been known for his versatility defensively, but no one could have predicted what he would bring offensively this year.  On the year he is batting .264 with a slash line of .346/.518,/.864.  Going along with his strong slash line he has also contributed 18 home-runs and 55 runs batted in 133 games played.

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With that many have stared to discuss if the Pittsburgh Pirates will look to bring back Sean Rodriguez this off-season.  With the strong numbers he has posted, many expect S-Rod to get a significant raise this off-season.  Also with the emergence of Adam Frazier, the arrival of Josh Bell, and the extension of David Freese, there may be no real need to retain Rodriguez.

Pittsburgh Pirates General Manager revealed his thoughts on the S-Rod to Rob Biertempfel who shared it in an article in the Pittsburgh Tribune Review:

"“We’d love to have Sean remain in a Pirate uniform,” Huntington said. “Given what he’s done this year, we would fully anticipate that there’s going to be quite a market out there for him.”"

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So based on that comment it seems that Huntington would certainly bring back Sean Rodriguez.  However, it is not reasonable as he will get a significant raise.  Huntington knows that teams have noticed what he has done this year.  If bigger market teams show interest in Rodriguez they will give him the significant raise he is looking for.

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Biertempfel speculates in the article that he will be looking for five million dollars. On top of that a length of two to three years in length. With him looking for more money, and the current cheaper options in Frazier and Hanson to fill his void, it is more likely that Serpico will be playing else where next season.