Breaking news this morning as the Detroit Tigers signed one of their pitching free-agent targets in left-hander Eduardo Rodríguez.
What a way to start a Monday morning Detroit Tigers fans. Per Cody Stavenhagen of the Atheltic, the Tigers have signed left-hander starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez.
It was reported that Detroit signed Eduardo Rodriguez to a five-year $ 77 million dollar deal with a player opt-out after two years. Due to Boston extending him a qualifying offer, the Tigers will have to give up their 3rd highest draft pick to the Red Sox. He missed the 2020 season with COVID and myocarditis. As Jon Heyman reported, he can earn up to $3 million in incentives.
What does that mean for the Detroit Tigers starting rotation?
It means that Detroit will have a starter who has pitched over 150 innings the last two seasons and gives them a workhorse to compliment Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal, and Matt Manning. As I mentioned in my free agent breakdown piece, he has a four-seam fastball, change, slider, cutter, and sinker.
He will reunite with his pitching coach from Boston, assistant pitching coach Juan Nieves. Eduardo started in 34 games last season.
What does also mean for the Detroit Tigers? They did not go bargain bin shopping for a starting pitcher who was signed to potentially be traded at the deadline only to have an injury. The contact parameters are smart and it allows Detroit to keep spending as Tony Paul indicated.
The Tigers have been aggressive so far this off-season in making moves to improve the 40-man roster. The Tucker Barnhart trade was the first one of the off-season and this is the first big free-agent name to go off the board. Whomever the Tigers bring on at short, it will help Rodriguez. While he does have good strikeout numbers, he is a solid ground ball pitcher.