One former Boston Red Sox pitcher will be playing for his third team since leaving in 2019. According to ESPN’s Jeff Passan, Eduardo Rodriguez landed a four-year, $80 million deal with the Arizona Diamondbacks. The southpaw decided to head west after he spent the last two seasons with the Detroit Tigers before opting out of the final three years of his contract. Rodriguez left $49 million remaining on that contract to test the free agent market for the second time in his career.
BREAKING: Left-handed starter Eduardo Rodriguez and the Arizona Diamondbacks are in agreement on a four-year contract for around $20 million a year, pending physical, sources familiar with the agreement tell ESPN.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 7, 2023
Eduardo Rodriguez Lands In Arizona
He started his career with Boston, helping the Red Sox win the 2018 World Series. One of his best seasons came in 2019, his final year with the Red Sox. He posted a 19-6 record with a 3.81 ERA, 1.33 WHIP, and 213 strikeouts in 34 starts across 203 1/3 innings. Rodriguez signed a five-year, $77 million deal during the 2021-22 offseason as the Tigers went in on the southpaw and Javier Baez. Unfortunately, Rodriguez was hit with the injury bug due to a ribcage strain, but his extended absence was due to a personal matter. He ended up only tossing 91 innings with a 4.05 ERA.
An injury to his left index finger put Rodriguez on the injured list for over a month. The Tigers made attempts at moving Rodriguez at the 2023 trade deadline. However, he nixed a deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers that invoked his 10-team no-trade clause. Rodriguez did have a respectable 2023 season where he posted a 13-9 record with a 3.30 ERA, 3.5bWAR, and 143 strikeouts in 26 starts.
What Rodriguez Brings to the Desert
Arizona was on the hunt for potential free agent starters. The Diamondbacks were linked to Lucas Giolito, Seth Lugo, and Michael Wacha as they try to improve their rotation. They did so by pursuing their rotation upgrade from free agency in the left-hander.
Rodriguez is a reliable pitcher and he will make a great addition to the team. He features a low 90s fastball, a good cutter, and a solid changeup. For the reigning National League Champions, Rodriguez will provide a third front-of-the-rotation caliber arm. That will go great with 2023 NL Cy Young finalist Zac Gallen and Merrill Kelly. Arizona relied on Brandon Pfaadt, Ryne Nelson, and Zach Davies in the rotation for much of the year.
Any team in need of pitching depth like Arizona certainly got Rodriguez as a cheaper alternative. Other pitchers available including Blake Snell, Jordan Montgomery, and Yoshinobu Yamamoto will seek more money.
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