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Sean Rodriguez to sign with Atlanta

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

According to various reports, former Pirates' utility man Sean Rodriguez has agreed with the Braves on a two-year deal worth over $11M.  Rodriguez was able to cash in on a career 2016 season in which he put up a 270/349/510 batting line.  That followed a 2015 season, also with the Pirates, when it took a big hot streak late in the year to salvage a meager 246/281/362 showing.  Rodriguez' 2016 OPS+ of 126 easily beat his previous career high of 97 and his career average of 91.  The improvement was probably attributable to a dramatic improvement in his walk rate from 2.1% in 2015 to 9.7% in 2016.

The Pirates had stated a desire to keep Rodriguez and were reportedly pursuing him.  With serious needs remaining on the mound, though, it would have been insane for them to pay that kind of money to a utility player, especially one coming off an age-31 season that was so wildly out of line with his career norms.  The Pirates have Adam Frazier coming off a successful rookie season and Alen Hanson, who's out of options, prepared to assume a utility role.