The Boston Red Sox’s starting rotation hasn’t gotten off to the start it hoped for this season.
Boston is 10-10 through the first 20 games of the season and the club’s pitching certainly is the biggest reason why. The Red Sox’s offense and bullpen have been solid throughout the season, but the rotation hasn’t followed suit. Boston entered the season with seemingly a surplus of pitching but injuries and inconsistent play have changed the mindset around the club’s rotation.
The Red Sox have decisions to make — especially with James Paxton nearing a return to the mound — about who will be in the rotation moving forward and who will move to the bullpen. If Boston decided to consider adding an external candidate to the mix this season, one player to keep an eye out on who may be traded is former Red Sox hurler and current Detroit Tiger Eduardo Rodríguez, according to The Athletic’s Jim Bowden.
“I think the Tigers will deal Eduardo Rodríguez at the trade deadline because of his opt-out clause, but he’s not low-cost,” Bowden said. “The (Seattle Mariners) has been open to trading Marco Gonzales and Chris Flexen. The (Washington Nationals) would move Trevor Williams. The (Colorado Rockies) might move Austin Gomber. The Red Sox would listen to offers on Tanner Houck.”
Rodríguez was signed by the Red Sox as an international free agent and made his big league debut with the club in 2015. The lefty spent the first six years of his MLB career with Boston before signing with the Detroit Tigers as a free agent ahead of the 2022 campaign. Rodríguez has gotten off to a hot start to begin the 2023 season and has compiled a 3.00 ERA across his first four starts and has struck out 19 batters while walking just five.
The 30-year-old signed a five-year, $77 million deal with the Tigers ahead of the 2022 season but has an opt-out after this season. Detroit is 7-10 so far this season and likely will finish near the bottom of the American League Central standings so it wouldn’t be too surprising if the lefty opted out of his deal this offseason and looked to sign elsewhere. It would make sense for the Tigers to trade Rodríguez ahead of the opt-out and he potentially could help the Red Sox.
If he were to be traded to Boston and not opt out of his deal, he wouldn’t cost the team too much plus he would give the club another left-handed option. Boston currently only has two healthy left-handed pitchers in Chris Sale and Richard Bleier and could use another one.
If the Tigers were to deal Rodríguez it likely wouldn’t be until the July trade deadline, but Boston certainly should keep an eye on him over the next few months.