DETROIT – The Detroit Tigers announced that they have agreed to terms with lefthanded pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez on a five-year contract.
“Eduardo was clearly one of our top targets in this year’s free agent pitching class, and we are extremely happy to add someone of his caliber to our rotation,” said Al Avila, Detroit Tigers Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager. “There are a number of strong qualities that Eduardo brings to our ballclub, including his leadership abilities, and we look forward to the positive impact he will have on our team both on and off the field.”
After missing the 2020 season due to myocarditis, Rodriguez, 28, had a strong comeback campaign in 2021, appearing in 32 games, including 31 starts, and posting a 13-8 record with a 4.74 ERA (157.2IP/83ER) and 185 strikeouts, which was ninth in the American League. He led Red Sox pitchers in victories, while he ranked second in starts, innings pitched and strikeouts. Rodriguez finished the season with a career-best 10.56 strikeouts/9.0 innings, which also ranked fourth in the AL (min. 150.0IP). The 6-2, 231-pound southpaw also ranked fourth in the AL with a 3.8 fWAR, which was also a career best. Rodriguez also posted career highs in strikeout/walk ratio (3.94) and FIP (3.32), which was tied for third in the AL. Rodriguez started three games last postseason, compiling a 1-1 record with a 4.97 ERA (12.2IP/7ER) and 14 strikeouts.
“I am excited to be a Tiger and appreciate the commitment being made to building a winning team in Detroit,” said Rodriguez. “After some great years in Boston with amazing fans and teammates, I am blessed to be coming into a new situation where the fans in Detroit are some of the best in baseball. In speaking with Al and A.J., I knew this is a place that would be a good fit for me and my family. I can’t wait to join my new teammates and work towards a World Series title.”
Rodriguez’s best Major League season came in 2019, when he led the league with 34 starts and compiled a 19-6 record with a 3.81 ERA (203.1IP/86ER) and 213 strikeouts. He ranked third in the Majors with 19 victories, while he ranked ninth in the American League in ERA and strikeouts. Rodriguez threw 7.0-or-more scoreless innings five times, which was tied with Lucas Giolito for the second most in the American League and helped lead the Red Sox to a 26-8 record during games in which he was the starting pitcher. Following that season, Rodriguez finished sixth in voting for the 2019 AL Cy Young Award.
A native of Valencia, Venezuela, Rodriguez has been one of the most consistent pitchers in the big leagues since making his big league debut in 2015. Rodriguez has started at least 20 games every year that he’s played in the Majors and has a career record of 64-39 with a 4.16 ERA (856.2IP/396ER) and 892 strikeouts in 159 career appearances, including 153 starts. Since 2018, Rodriguez has a .703 winning percentage, which ranks fourth among all Major League pitchers over that span.
Rodriguez has also made 11 career appearances, including four starts, in the postseason, and has a 1-1 record with a 6.35 ERA (22.2IP/16ER) and 25 strikeouts. Rodriguez pitched in seven games in the 2018 playoffs, helping the Red Sox to a victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the World Series.
Rodriguez, who resides in Miami, FL in the offseason, was originally signed by the Baltimore Orioles as an international free agent on January 28, 2010. He was acquired by the Red Sox from Baltimore in exchange for LHP Andrew Miller on July 31, 2014.