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F-Rod Now a W-Nat

[February 1st] - The Washington Nationals have finally come to agreement with former Yankee's reliever Felix Rodriguez. Rodriguez, 33, signed a one-year, $600,000 contract that could double to $1.2 million if he remains on the Nationals' roster for the majority of the season. Rotoworld.com calls the signing a "bargain" for the Nationals even if all the bonus money is eventually paid.

Most believed that the signing of lefty Valerio De Los Santos ended any hope of signing Rodriguez, but it was apparently contractual issues, and not desire on either side, that held up the deal until late Tuesday night.

In 2001, Felix Rodriguez ruled the National League. Pitching for the San Francisco Giants, Rodriguez went 9-1, 1.68 with 91 strikeouts in just 80 innings. He continued to pitch well for the Giants and the Phillies between 2002 - 2004, going 24-21, 3.44, striking out 163 in 190 innings. 2005 didn't go well for Rodriguez. Pitching for the Yankees, he had a 5.01 ERA in 32 innings while striking out only 19.

Rodriguez has a fastball that tops out at 98 mph. He has a good slider but most often just dares the hitter to catch up with the heat. Lefties do pretty well against Rodriguez but right-handers might just as well stay on the bench.

Even when including his dismal 2005 season, Rodriguez' last three years look very good. The right-hander has gone 13-10, 3.57 during that span, striking out 123 in 159 innings. From 2003 - 2005, Rodriguez gave up a .254 batting average, .345 on-base percent and .395 slugging average. He is especially hard on lefties, allowing a .229 batting average against (.270 vs righties).

Good job, Jimbo. The Nationals have one of the worst starting lineups but by far and away one of the best bullpens and reserve players.

I feel a Beltway Boys "prognostication" coming up (hey, I predicted 81 wins last January, so I guess you have to listen to me): The signing of Rodriguez and de Los Santos will open the door for the team to package one of the team's existing middle-relievers for some much needed hitting.

If I get this one right, I'm moving to Vegas.

No way that Bowden signs this guy to a $600,000 deal and then doesn't make the squad.

He's a Nat.
Perhaps he's the player that will allow the team to trade Gary Majewski or Luis Ayala for hitting, or in a package to get rid of Soriano?
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