Yariel Rodríguez’s contract details revealed, can be assigned to minors without approval only in 2024

Thomas Hall
1 month ago
Newly signed Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Yariel Rodríguez can earn up to $47.5 million as a starter and $37.5 million as a reliever with options, escalators and performance bonuses on his $32-million, five-year contract with the team, a report from the Associated Press revealed Tuesday.
Rodríguez, whose deal was made official by the Blue Jays last Friday after passing his physical, will receive an $8 million signing bonus and a $2 million salary in 2024. He will become a free agent after his contract expires.
Here’s the year-by-year breakdown of Rodríguez’s salaries, per the AP’s report:
  • 2024: $8 million SB, $2 million salary
  • 2025: $5 million
  • 2026: $5 million
  • 2027: $6 million
The 26-year-old righty’s deal includes a $6-million player option for the 2028 season. If declined, the Blue Jays can trigger a $10-million club option – a similar structure to Chad Green’s two-year, $8.5-million contract signed last winter.
That club option can escalate to as high as $14 million if every innings-pitched threshold is hit over the first four seasons of his agreement.
This season, it’ll climb $100,000 each for 60, 70, 80 and 90 innings. In 2025, another $100,00o each for 110, 120, 130 and 140, plus $200,000 apiece for 150, 160, 170 and 180. Finally, in 2026 and ’27, $100,000 each for 120, 130, 140 and 150, and $200,000 each time he reaches 160, 170, 180 and 190.
Additionally, Rodríguez can earn up to $250,000 in performance bonuses for games finished in ’24, speaking to his versatility as a reliever. He’ll receive $50,000 each for 20, 30, 40, 50 and 60.
Over the next three seasons, from 2025-27, the Cuban right-hander can collect $50,000 each for 30, 40 and 50 games finished and an additional $100,000 for 60.
Rodríguez’s contract also includes incentives for innings pitched – separate from the ones that can increase Toronto’s club option – starting in 2025: $100,000 each for 130, 140, 150, 160 and 170. He can earn $100,000 apiece for 140, 150, 160, 170 and 180 per season from 2026-28.
One significant detail included is the Blue Jays can assign Rodríguez to the minors without receiving his approval – but only for this season, confirmed by Sportsnet‘s Shi Davidi. The expectation is he’ll receive the standard three-option years, although he’ll need to provide his consent for any demotions beyond 2024.
Davidi also revealed Toronto intends to stretch the 6-foot-1 hurler out as a starter this spring. However, he hasn’t been guaranteed a big-league roster spot, as TSN’s Scott Mitchell reported Wednesday.
It’s believed that Rodríguez would prefer to operate as a reliever, possibly in a multi-inning or high-leverage role, or a mixture of both, rather than developing as a starter in the minors.
The Blue Jays’ 2024 starting rotation currently has four spots locked up, held by ace Kevin Gausman, José Berríos, Chris Bassitt and Yusei Kikuchi – a free agent after this season. Alek Manoah, coming off a horrendous 2023 campaign, is tabbed as the leading candidate for the club’s final rotation spot.
Beyond the major leagues, the organization’s starting pitching depth at Triple-A Buffalo includes Bowden Francis, Wes Parsons, Mitch White (out of options) and top prospect Ricky Tiedemann. Chad Dallas, who isn’t on the 40-man roster and was invited to spring training as a non-roster invitee, is expected to debut at that level this season.
Rodríguez represented Team Cuba at the 2023 World Baseball Classic but didn’t pitch the rest of the year in preparation for his arrival to North America. He pitched to a 10-10 record with a 3.03 ERA across three seasons with the NPB’s Chunichi Dragons, fanning 188 hitters over 175.1 innings.
The former Dragon, named the Central League’s Most Valuable Setup Pitcher in 2022, became a free agent at the beginning of the off-season.


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