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Thursday, 23 January, 2003, 00:41 GMT
Marlins land Rodriguez
Ivan Rodriguez
Rodriguez was 1999's American League MVP
The Florida Marlins have signed 10-time All-Star catcher Ivan Rodriguez on a one-year contract worth $10m.

The 31-year-old, who spent the first 12 years of his career with the Texas Rangers, missed nearly two months early last season with a herniated disc.

But the man known as 'Pudge' recovered to hit .314 with 19 homers and 60 RBI.

It was his first season without a Gold Glove Award since 1991, his rookie year.

It became clear that the Rangers' considered the 1999 MVP and his $10m salary expendable when they acquired catcher Einar Diaz from Cleveland in December.

Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria said he felt he could not pass up the chance to go after a player of Rodriguez's calibre.

"When the opportunity presented itself, I felt this was the perfect time to provide a major boost to the Marlins," he said.

"Adding a future Hall-of-Famer to the team completes, what we believe, is a very successful off-season."

In his 12 seasons with the Rangers, Rodriguez hit 215 homers, drove in 829 runs and batted .305 in 1,479 games.


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