Florida Marlins manager Edwin Rodriguez said the Mets' signing of catcher Ronny Paulino for $1.3 million was a sound move, and suggested any struggles Paulino had late in his tenure with the Marlins resulted from the mental strain of knowing a performance-enhancing drug suspension was looming.
Paulino has eight games remaining on that 50-game suspension. He was hitting .306 with the Marlins entering July, but went 18-for-106 (.170) in his final 32 games while playing every day before the suspension was affirmed and announced.
"I think the Mets are getting a very good player," Rodriguez said. "Ronny Paulino, he knew even while he was playing that in his situation, he had a chance to be suspended. I think that's what affected him on the field. Maybe because he was playing on an everyday basis, that also took a bit [of a toll] on him. But I think he would have been able to handle the everyday work. I think it was more the mental side that really got him tired. He knew about [the looming potential suspension], and it took a lot of energy away from him worrying about the whole situation. But physically and talent-wise, I think he's capable of having a good year."