The Pudge Option

In today’s column, John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press names the many milestones Tigers catcher Ivan Rodriguez is approaching.  Lowe mentions at the end of his column:

"Right now, it seems automatic that the club will exercise the option and have him catch next season — and maybe into the season after that, when he could be passing Fisk for the most games caught all-time."

That is an interesting statement as Rodriguez’s option for 2008 is probably not a no-brainer.  It’s for a hefty $13MM.  But it should be noted that it includes a $3MM buyout, so the question is whether he’s worth $10MM to the Tigers.  PECOTA says $8.125MM, but might not fully value his defense and intangibles. 

Some other catchers could be available after this season: Jorge Posada, Paul Lo Duca, Michael Barrett, and Jason Kendall.  Since all would require at least a two-year deal, I think Pudge’s 2008 option should be exercised.  As far as keeping him in 2009 as well…only for the right price (less than $10MM).

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