MLB Rumors: Eduardo Rodriguez and the Detroit Tigers have agreed to terms on a five year deal, per reports. The free agent pitcher is getting $77 million over 5 years, according to Jeff Passan on Twitter. Jon Heyman says that there is an opt-out after year two, and reports indicate that Rodriguez can earn up to an additional $3 million in incentives.
The Tigers were expected to be active and aggressive this offseason, and in landing Rodriguez, they get a relatively young lefthanded starter (Rodriguez doesn’t turn 29 until April) who missed 2020 with a COVID-related heart issue, but who was very good in both 2019 and 2021. While Rodriguez had a 4.74 ERA in 2021, he had a 3.55 xERA and a 3.32 FIP — he was victimized by a .363 BABIP, which many blamed on a porous infield defense.
Over at Fangraphs, Ben Clemens predicted a 4 year, $80M deal for Rodriguez, while at ESPN Kiley McDaniel had Rodriguez at 3 years, $51M. Rodriguez’s 5 year deal has a lower AAV than either Clemens or McDaniel predicted, though he gets both five years and an opt out — my guess is that the deal is somewhat frontloaded, with Rodriguez getting around $20M per year for the first two years. Jon Morosi says the Blue Jays, Angels and Red Sox were also in on Rodriguez.
Rodriguez signing this quickly is a surprise, though the deal isn’t really out of line with what was being projected, and the Tigers may have offered the opt out to separate them with the other contenders and get him locked up early on. Rodriguez was offered the qualifying offer, so the Tigers will lose their second round pick for signing him.