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Eduardo Rodriguez opts out, becomes free agent

Detroit Tigers starter Eduardo Rodriguez has opted out of the final years of his contract

Cleveland Guardians v Detroit Tigers Photo by Mark Cunningham/MLB Photos via Getty Images

Detroit Tigers pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez has officially opted out of the final three years of his contract. As a result, Rodriguez is officially a free agent. As he previously received a qualifying offer from the Boston Red Sox after the 2021 season, the Tigers cannot tender a qualifying offer to him.

Rodriguez, a lefthander who turns 31 in April, was originally signed out of Venezuela by the Baltimore Orioles, who traded him to the Boston Red Sox in 2014 for Andrew Miller. Rodriguez established himself as a solid starter for the Red Sox in the late-10s, then had a breakout 2019 season where he put up a 5.5 bWAR and finished 6th in the Cy Young Award balloting.

Rodriguez missed the 2020 season due to a heart condition. In his return to action in 2021, he put up a disappointing 4.74 ERA in 157.2 IP, though with a 3.32 FIP. Rodriguez signed a 5 year, $77 million deal with the Detroit Tigers after the 2021 season with an opt-out after two years. He was owed $49 million for the final three years of the deal.

The Tigers and the Los Angeles Dodgers agreed to a deal at the trade deadline this year that would have sent Rodriguez to L.A. However, Rodriguez exercised his no-trade clause, indicating that he did not want to disrupt and uproot his family mid-season. Rodriguez and the Tigers have been engaging in negotiations, per reports, and there seems to be a pretty decent chance Rodriguez ends up returning to Detroit on a new deal.