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Ivan Rodriguez signs with Marlins

MIAMI, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- The Florida Marlins on Wednesday signed free agent catcher Ivan Rodriguez, the top defensive backstop of the 1990s, to a one-year contract worth $10 million.

Rodriguez, 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 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.

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It became clear that the Rangers' considered the 10-time All-Star and his $10 million salary expendable when they acquired catcher Einar Diaz from the Cleveland Indians in December.

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

"When an opportunity of this magnitude presented itself, I felt this was the perfect time to provide a major boost to the Florida Marlins," Loria said. "Adding a future Hall-of-Famer to the team completes we believe is a very successful offseason."

In his 12 seasons with the Rangers, the 1999 Most Valuable Player award winner hit 215 homers, drove in 829 runs and batted .305 in 1,479 games.

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