Boston Red Sox avoid arbitration with deals for eligible players

BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 27: Mookie Betts
BOSTON, MA - SEPTEMBER 27: Mookie Betts /
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BOSTON, MA – JULY 9: Eduardo Rodriguez #57 of the Boston Red Sox pitches in the second inning of a game against the Texas Rangers at Fenway Park on July 9, 2018 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images) /

Eduardo Rodriguez

Left-handed pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez will earn $4.3 million in his first year of eligibility, a jump from the $2.375 million he earned last season but below his $4.8 million projection.

Rodriguez is coming off the best season of his career in which he went 13-5 with a 3.82 ERA, 1.26 WHIP, and 10.1 K/9.

An ankle injury suffered while attempting to cover first base put Rodriguez on the shelf for a month an half. He returned in September but struggled with consistency, ultimately pushing him into a bullpen role down the stretch and heading into the postseason.

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E-Rod coughed up three runs to the New York Yankees in 1 2/3 innings of relief during Game 2 of the ALDS but bounced back with 2 2/3 scoreless innings over his next five appearances. Rodriguez was given an unexpected start in Game 4 of the World Series after Nathan Eovaldi was used to wrap up the final six frames of the previous game’s extra-innings affair. Rodriguez gave up four runs in 5 2/3 innings in a game the Red Sox would go on to win.

Rodriguez’ spot in the rotation seems less secure than the other four starters but he’s the clear frontrunner for the No. 5 spot heading into spring training. Health has always been an issue holding Rodriguez back but if he can stay on the mound he has the potential to build on his breakout season.