The Detroit Tigers have signed left-handed starter Eduardo Rodriguez.
The former Red Sox pitcher inked a five-year deal with a player option after the second year. With incentives, the deal is valued at up to $80 million.
Rodriguez has been a model of consistency in his big league career, coming off another 30+ start season. In 2019, he finished sixth in the Cy Young award race, where he posted a career-high 203.1 innings.
As a result, the Red Sox will receive a compensatory draft pick, in addition, the Tigers will surrender their third-highest draft pick in 2022.
Where does he fit in the Tigers rotation?
Even with the innings limits removed from Tarik Skubal and Casey Mize, Eduardo Rodriguez will likely find himself anywhere between 2-4 in AJ Hinch’s rotation.
His repertoire includes a fastball that will sit around 93 mph, which he compliments well with a changeup around 85 mph, a cutter at 88 mph, and a slider at 82 mph.
Rodriguez is a strikeout savant who is coming off posting his career-best strikeout rate (10.6 per nine innings) while also among the league’s best at limiting hard contact. In addition, he also had the lowest walk rate of his career (2.7 per nine innings).
The lefty is poised to be a veteran presence in the young Tigers rotation despite being only 28 years old. He and Matthew Boyd are the most tenured starters on the Tigers…for now cough Justin Verlander.
This move is the Tigers’ second of the offseason after they traded for two-time Gold Glove
catcher Tucker Barnhart on November 3rd.
Tigers’ GM Al Avila has previously identified the strong need at improving the starting pitching this offseason, even placing it as a top priority.
Despite Tigers fans’ strong desire to hand a blank check to Carlos Correa before any other moves are made, this should come as no surprise after witnessing the Tigers select eight pitchers in the 2021 MLB Draft.