Detroit Tigers could see Eduardo Rodriguez walk.
The Detroit Tigers were big spenders in the winter of 2021, making some moves ahead of the 2022 season. The team went out and signed Javier Báez and Eduardo Rodriguez to multi-year deals. Rodriguez, in particular, signed a five-year, $77 million contract to join the Tigers pitching staff.
It was a contract signed under Al Avila, but after two seasons with the Detroit Tigers, there's a chance that Rodriguez may not return. Under the new regime run by Scott Harris, things have changed, and there's hope to start working through things with the Tigers roster over time.
Rodriguez has a player opt-out in front of him, which would have him walking away from a three-year, $49 million slate still left on his deal in Detroit. The likelihood is that he wants to sign a more lucrative contract elsewhere.
In 2021, Rodriguez was one of the consistent starters for the most part. He threw in 26 games for Detroit, totaling 152.2 innings pitched. He pitched to 3.30 ERA, a 1.15 WHIP, and was able to limit the opposition to 48 walks while punching out 143 opposing hitters.
It was a much better performance from Rodriguez than has been shown in recent years, especially in year one in Detroit. However, the Tigers are not holding any expectations on Rodriguez's return for now.
His last start came against Cleveland as the calendar flipped to October, and it just might have been his final start wearing a Tigers uniform. He went 7.0 innings, allowing one earned run, with four hits, one walk, and five strikeouts.
When Scott Harris was asked about Rodriguez and the opt-out, he clarified that the two sides are looking to cut ties. While the decision falls with the players, Harris said that there are not expected to be any negotiations before the opt-out decision comes.
With that in mind, it seems like the two sides will be going their separate ways, and the E-Rod era in Detroit will come to an end. After his last start, it seemed like it was the end, but these comments from Harris make it all the more real, feeling like Rodriguez will be hitting the free agent market.
The Tigers have a long road ahead this off-season, and it seems like they will have to focus on rounding out their rotation once again if Rodriguez indeed does opt out, as is expected. The ball is in his court now.