ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 30: Former catcher for the Texas Rangers Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez waves to the fans as he walks out ot catch the cermonial firts pitch from Rangers team President Nolan Ryan against the San Francisco Giants in Game Three of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 30, 2010 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Brian Snyder-Pool/Getty Images)
When Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez announced he was retiring from baseball last season at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington after 21 seasons in baseball, it was announced he would continue to work with the Rangers in some capacity moving forward, even though he last played for Texas for a short stint in 2009.
Make no mistake, Pudge is a Ranger, and now he wants to be one past his playing days as he will work with the Rangers' catchers during spring training and help the Rangers' catching coordinator Victor Ortiz. Pudge played his first 12 seasons in Texas after making his big-league debut at age 19 back in 1991, helping the Rangers to three AL West titles in the late 1990s and earning AL MVP honors in 1999.
He had a bit of an ugly departure from the club after the old ownership wouldn't pony up to keep him, but then he went to Florida and won a World Series title.
"We're anticipating that he's going to be at spring training for a period of time," general manager Jon Daniels told ESPN Dallas. "We're in the process of talking to him about finalizing a role."
Any role would be a good one for the future Hall of Famer, especially when you consider the Rangers have one of the better young (really young) catching prospects in Jorge Alfaro, who is still years away from big-league time but is highly touted.