About three weeks ago, the Seattle Mariners outrighted Luis Rodriguez off of their 40-man roster. Rather than hang around and report to the minors, Rodriguez exercised his right to decline and become a free agent. At that point, Rodriguez was free to negotiate with all 30 teams, by which I mean all 30 Major League teams. Rodriguez was also free to negotiate with all other teams in other places, if he wanted to. Free! Free will!
I said my piece on Rodriguez back then, figuring he was probably gone. Now it's November 22nd, and he is the opposite of gone, as the Mariners have re-signed Rodriguez to a minor league contract with an invitation to spring training. For Rodriguez, all that time as a free agent must have really put things in perspective.
Rodriguez: Goodbye, Mariners. Hello, world of opportunity!
Rodriguez: Oh wow the Mariners could really use help
I suspect that the Mariners know of what Rodriguez is capable better than other teams do. I suspect that Rodriguez understands that the Mariners lack infield depth, and present a promising opportunity to get back to the Majors. I suspect that Rodriguez's contract includes an opt-out clause if he isn't in the Majors by a certain date early in the year. (Ed. note: June 1st! New CBA, everybody!)
So we're here, which is where we were. Rodriguez, right now, looks like he has a good chance of making the Mariners next season, but so many things could change between now and Opening Day that one shouldn't make assumptions. Rodriguez signed awful quick, suggesting that the Mariners might have said something, but that's just speculation. So is this: the truck parked outside my window hasn't moved for hours, and might have a bomb. That is speculation. Although if the truck does have a bomb that goes off, this will all be funny in a way that you guys can laugh at in three or four months.
Luis Rodriguez is 31 years old. He has it in him to be a useful semi-regular player. He could be less than that, but he is modestly talented, relative to Brendan Ryan, and extremely talented, relative to you. Having him is neat.