What is Flordia thinking?

Ivan RodriquezFlorida signing Pudge Rodriguez makes no sense. They’ll give him $10 million for one season — a team that supposedly is hurting financially and has gotten rid of stars like Preston Wilson and Charles Johnson in an attempt to trim payroll (though Mike Hampton is no bargain either), and … and this is crucial, has no realistic chance to make it to the World Series this year. After Mike Lowell and Luis Castillo, what offense do they have? Derek Lee is inconsistent at best, Eric Owens and Kevin Millar (hardly major hitting stars) are gone. The outfield is pitiful and they’re weak at SS. Outside of Mike Hampton, the pitchers are young and Pudge is probably not the best at handling a young staff.

It’s deals like these that give owners a bad reputation.

Bizarre is not the word for it.

There is a Padres angle in this, though. The contract is good for Pudge because he keeps him from getting boxed into a three- or four- year deal in Japan, and with the Padres opening a new ballpark next season, they might be willing to fork over Pudge-like money in 2004. Ivan has previously said he would love to live and work in San Diego. In playing for a non-contending team, he can get healthy, prove he’s still got game and make himself a viable candidate for San Diego’s starting C job in 2004. Or, at least I can dream.

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