Originally posted on Baseball Prospectus  |  Last updated 4/20/12
Ivan Rodriguez is scheduled to announce his retirement on Monday, closing the curtain on a 21-year career in which he set standards for all-around play and longevity among catchers. Rodriguez played just 44 games with the Nationals last year, and while his name surfaced as a potential stopgap for the Royals when Salvador Perez went down with a knee injury in mid-March, the 40-year-old backstop apparently did not receive a formal offer from the club. No matter, his career is as complete as a Cooperstown résumé need be without crouching around waiting for Jonathan Sanchez to find the strike zone. The Puerto Rico-born Rodriguez signed with the Rangers in 1988, four months before his 17th birthday, and one year before Puerto Ricans became subject to inclusion in the amateur draft (props to Kevin Goldstein, because the New York Times dated the inclusion to 1990). Already nicknamed "Pudge" at a time when the original Pudge, Carlton Fisk, was still active, Rodriguez reached the majors ...
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