Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodriguez wants to retire in Boston
In a day and age where players will chase the immortal dollar and highest bid, it’s refreshing to see someone show loyalty to the team that gave them their shot. Long gone are the days where a player would spend their entire career with a single franchise, barring the few anomalies that still exist. So when I hear a player not only make it known that they want to stay for the long haul but make it incredibly clear, I listen, and the Red Sox have exactly that.
Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodriguez recently spoke with Alex Speier of the Boston Globe and the two talked about a laundry list of topics, including his future in the sport. E-Rod didn’t hold back on his feeling and once again made it known that he wants to be in Boston for the entirety of his career. The southpaw wants to give back to the organization that gave him his big break and wants to pay it back to them with his loyalty.
“I want to stay in Boston as long as my career goes,” he said. “I want to play in Boston forever. That’s where I got to the big leagues. That’s where I got an opportunity. That’s my family. That’s a ballpark where I really love to pitch — the history, everything.”
I, for one, would love to see Eddie get an extension ahead of Opening Day as he’s more than earned it over the last two seasons. Had he not missed 2020 then it very well could’ve been three years in a row. Now that he’s free and clear of COVID and myocarditis, his sights are set on the horizon and beyond. He was recently on MLB Network and let everyone know that he has the green light to begin training and will be 100% by spring training.
The Red Sox rotation is all over the place with Chris Sale unlikely to return before the summer and nobody else of worth beyond Nathan Eovaldi. Getting E-Rod back and at full strength won’t fully salvage this pitching staff but it’s one hell of a big step in the right direction. Personally, I’m still hoping that Boston re-signs Martin Perez to a deal before another team scoops him up. But today is about E-Rod and rightfully so.
Speier and Rodriguez discussed his plan of attack for the offseason and how he’s going to approach his road back to the starting rotation. Eddie didn’t mince any words on his outlook for 2021 and I won’t lie about my excitement about his return.
“A regular offseason, get ready for the season, go out there, throw 200 innings, 34 starts. That’s my goal. That’s the way I’m going to do it. That’s the approach I had in 2019. I’m going to take it the same way, go and do it.”
It may be a bit ambitious to run out there and try to post numbers as he did back in 2019, 19-6/3.81/34/203.1/213/1.328, when he finished sixth in Cy Young voting and fifth in pitcher WAR. I love the approach and mentality that he won’t let this past year get him down and he’s nothing but business for 2021.
I’m hoping the Red Sox coaching staff gets with him as he starts his rehab and offseason program so both are on the same page. As much as I want him back and doing the damn thing I don’t want him to risk injury by forcing his return too soon.
”We’ll see what goes on there, see where we’re at. Hopefully they want to do it. I want to do it.”
The offseason is still in the early stages and Chaim Bloom has made it known that the Red Sox will target pitching as their priority. Getting Rodriguez back is a step in the right direction but there still needs to be a major overhaul of this pitching staff. It looks like he could get his shot at Opening Day as he was supposed to in 2020 before the virus took that away from him. He earned the right to be considered “the ace,” of this staff with what he did in 2019 when the guys who previously carried that mantle, dropped the ball.
With Sale on his own path to recovery, E-Rod once again has his chance to be the ace of the staff. Rodriguez said it and I’ll agree, the Red Sox should make him that long-term offer. Secure the lefty for the next few years so there is some stability in the rotation as guys like Sale and Eovaldi hit the twilight of their careers. When the next cycle of starters comes through Rodriguez can complete the transition from a prospect, to a reliable arm, to an ace, to the veteran grooming the next generation.
I would love to see Eddie finish his career where it started and write the perfect storybook ending when the time comes. Rodriguez will turn 28 years old in the early parts of the 2021 season and he’ll be in the sixth year of his career, time isn’t on his side. Nobody knows what the long-term effects of COVID-19 and the following myocarditis will be, now is the time to strike for both sides. Chaim, give Eddie the deal that will allow him to throw not just his first pitch but his final in a Red Sox uniform.