After teams handed out qualifying offers to impending free agents shortly after the conclusion of the World Series, players who received said offers have until Wednesday to accept or reject the one-year deal worth $18.4 million. If players decline that offer, teams who lose the player receive draft pick compensation when they sign elsewhere, and the new teams who sign them will have to give up a draft pick (the specific pick depends on whether or not they exceeded the luxury tax and whether or not they receive revenue sharing.)
For the Boston Red Sox, there was one qualifying offer decision to be made from Eduardo Rodriguez. The lefty received a lot of early public interest, which made it not so surprising when Jon Heyman reported on Sunday night that Rodriguez has rejected the offer. Now, we’ve learned that Rodriguez is likely going to be playing for the Detroit Tigers, with reports he is nearing a multi-year deal in the Midwest. Assuming the deal is completed, Boston will receive a compensation pick that comes after Competitive Balance Round B, which will put the pick right before the third round.
Rodriguez was one of the most interesting free agents on the market this winter. He’s always had the apparent talent, but consistency has never really been his strong suit. On top of that, he also seemed to be hurt more than anyone by Boston’s subpar defense in 2021. As a result, his 4.74 ERA tells a much different story than his 3.32 FIP. No starting pitcher in the league had a larger gap between his ERA and FIP. I think it would be overly simplistic to say his true talent is as good as his FIP, which after adjusting for park would make him 21 percent better than league-average. But he’s also certainly better than his ERA.
As mentioned, Rodriguez got a ton of early interest, with reports indicating the Angels and Blue Jays were interested in addition to the Red Sox and his new employers. Detroit is trying to emerge from their rebuild. They have a good amount of young talent in their rotation, and Rodriguez provides them with some upside that also comes with a bit of experience at the highest level.
The deal is a five-year deal worth $77 million with an opt-out after the second year.
Eduardo Rodriguez Tigers deal: $77M, opt out after year 2, plus incentives— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) November 15, 2021