Free Agent Profile: Eduardo Rodriguez opted out of his contract with the Tigers after a rebound season

Brennan Delaney
3 months ago
The Blue Jays were among the teams who were interested in this lefty starting pitcher the last time he was a free agent. Might they be again this year?
This is a free agent profile, where we take a look at the players on the open market this winter and whether or not they would be fits for the Blue Jays. In this article, we’re going to take a look at Eduardo Rodriguez, who is a free agent after opting out of his contract with the Detroit Tigers.

Eduardo Rodríguez’s 2023:

Rodriguez had one of his best seasons to date in 2023, posting a 3.30 ERA and a 3.66 FIP in 152 2/3 innings pitched with the Detroit Tigers. He’s not a strikeout artist by any means, but his K% sat at a respectable 23%, along with the third-lowest BB% of his career at 7.7%. Overall, he accumulated 3 fWAR, which is the second-highest total in his career for a single season. 
Interestingly, the highest fWAR of his career came in 2021 with the Boston Red Sox where he had a 3.9 fWAR. However, Rodriguez also had a 4.74 ERA that season, the highest mark in his career. The 3.32 FIP he posted that season is the lowest mark of his career though, and fWAR is heavily dependent on FIP rather than ERA.
Rodriguez has solid career numbers, posting a 4.03 ERA and a 3.85 FIP in 1,100 1/3 innings pitched. The 30-year-old left-handed pitcher has a career of 23.8 K% and an 8.1 BB%. 

Eduardo Rodriguez’s contract:

Following that aforementioned 2021 season with the Red Sox, Rodriguez inked a five-year, $77 million deal with the Tigers with an opt-out after the second season. Rodriguez had a rough debut year with Detroit in 2022, rebounded with a very good season in 2023, and decided to test free agency again.
He would have earned $18 million in 2024, $16 million in 2025, and $15 million in 2026 for a total of $49 million. It’s safe to assume that the 30-year-old will sign for more than that this winter. 
Either way, Jim Bowden from The Athletic says that Rodriguez is his 11th-best free agent and that he’ll sign a deal worth $90 million over five seasons. MLB Trade Rumors also has him ranked at 11th and predicts that the lefty would make less total money, a four-year deal worth $82 million. 

Is Eduardo Rodriguez a fit for the Jays:

The Blue Jays had interest in signing Rodriguez back in the winter of 2021 before he landed in Detroit and it wouldn’t be surprising if they did again now. The lefty has experience pitching in the American League East as he came up with the Boston Red Sox and helped the team win the World Series in 2018.
It’s been discussed this off-season that the Blue Jays could opt to trade from their pitching depth to fill needs elsewhere. The name that comes up the most often is Alek Manoah, who struggled through a rough 2023 season after finishing as the runner-up to the AL Cy Young Award in 2022. Also mentioned is Yusei Kikuchi, who’s entering the final season of a three-year contract.

As always, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads @Brennan_L_D.


As always, you can follow me on Twitter, Instagram, and Threads @Brennan_L_D.


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