The Red Sox have a hole to fill in their starting rotation. Eduardo Rodriguez is off to a new team after six seasons in Boston, agreeing to a five-year deal with the Detroit Tigers. Cody Stavenhagen of The Athletic was first to report the news.
Soon after that, Jeff Passan swooped in with the details. It’s a five-year deal worth at least $77 million, and could become up to $80 million through bonuses. Ken Rosenthal added that the deal includes a “no-trade clause of some kind.”
So, unless Rodriguez didn’t want to stay in Boston and absolutely had to go to … Detroit … this means the Red Sox’ multiyear offer to him couldn’t match the Tigers’. However, the Red Sox did extend him a qualifying offer of $18.4 million, which in terms of AAV turned out to be more than fair. Boston will now receive draft pick compensation from the Tigers, due to the Q.O.
You could argue this is what Chief Baseball Officer Chaim Bloom wanted. Rodriguez predated his time in Boston, and he can now spend that money on someone he wants more, and he gets a draft pick out of it for the Red Sox’ rebuilding farm system.
Rodriguez originally came to the Red Sox in a trade for reliever Andrew Miller, and made his major league debut in Boston. He finishes his Red Sox tenure with a 64-39 record and a 4.16 ERA. Rodriguez’ inconsistency and constant injury worries were frustrating at times, and he didn’t pitch well in the postseason. But he can certainly hang his hat on the 2019 season, when he went 19-6 with a 3.81 ERA and finished sixth in Cy Young voting. He’s a solid pitcher and the Red Sox will likely need to add another lefty.
The Red Sox have Chris Sale, Nathan Eovaldi, Nick Pivetta, and Tanner Houck under contract for 2022, and Sale is the only southpaw. If Houck slides into the rotation, that leaves (quick math) one open spot. If the Sox can land a legitimate No. 2, or even a 1A starter to park behind Sale, that would really fill out the group nicely.
Boston has been linked to Justin Verlander and Steven Matz in recent hot stove rumors. But #interest truly means nothing in sports free agency, except for pageviews. It’s time for Bloom to actually reel in a big fish, whether it’s a pitcher or position player.
MORE: Red Sox gauging the loaded free-agent shortstop market
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