With his ability to opt out of his contract at the end of the year and the Detroit Tigers looking to build for the future, Tigers left-handed ace Eduardo Rodriguez could be on the move this summer before the trading deadline.
A fourth of the way into the 2023 Major League Baseball season, the Tigers are below .500 and well off the pace for a Wild Card spot and behind the Minnesota Twins in the AL Central.
Rodriguez helped the Boston Red Sox win the World Series in 2018 before coming over to the Tigers on a five-year $77 million deal, but the Tigers haven’t been in the playoffs since 2014.
Rodriguez is the type of pitcher who could help a team get over the hump and win their division or get to a wild card spot. He could be an attractive bargaining chip. The MLB Trading Deadline is Aug. 1.
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Rodriguez, who is originally from Venezuela, is 30 years old. He’s had an up-and-down MLB career. He missed the entire 2020 season after suffering complications from COVID-19 and then took off two months last season to deal with a personal issue.
Rodriguez went 5-5 for the Tigers who won just 66 games in 2022.
This season, Rodriguez has been the Tigers best pitcher and one of the best in the American League. Through mid-May, Rodriguez’ earned run average of 2.06 ranks fourth in the AL.
His 4-3 record is deceiving. Rodriguez started the season by taking the loss in two of his first three starts, but the Tigers only scored five runs in those three games combined.
It all came together for Rodriguez in an eight-inning four-hit performance against the Cleveland Guardians. Rodriguez was masterful in the start and has maintained his steady performance.
“E-Rod” has 73 wins in his MLB career, but his value to a rebuilding Tigers team is minimal. When the trading deadline comes around, the talented left-hander is sure to be in demand and the Tigers can use him to gain young players who can become their core as they keep building for the future.