Eduardo Rodriguez opens up about not re-signing with the Red Sox
Despite what some fans may think, the Red Sox were dealt a blow when they weren’t able to re-sign Eduardo Rodiguez last week. The big lefty had become one of the more reliable arms in the starting rotation, even with missing all of the 2020 season. I, along with many others, believed a new deal between Eddie Aces and Boston was a sure thing, but we were all wrong.
After he signed his new 5-year/$77M contract with the Detroit Tigers it came out from the Red Sox side of things that the team had made several runs at the southpaw, with no luck. Well, Eddie spoke to the media for the first time since becoming a Tiger, and he has a very different story to tell. And while Boston may have made several offers, it was clear that none of them came close to what he received from the Motor City.
"“I (didn’t) talk to them about how many years and all that,” the lefty said. “I know they wanted me back there, but it’s time for me to move and start the new part of my life.”"
There’s a lot to unpack in this small pair of sentences. The first being the fact that the two sides never discussed a contract length really makes it feel like the Red Sox may not have been as serious about re-signing him. We probably won’t learn what their offers consisted of, but if he wanted five years, and Boston was coming in at two or three, why not split the difference? Again, we’ll never know.
The other thing that jumped out to me was him saying that it’s time to move on. Obviously, he has his new team and can’t sit here and dwell on the past, but he said something along those lines more than once today. Could it be another case of the team shortchanging one of their players to the point the guy just wants to leave? Again, all speculation, but for a guy that made it known he wanted to retire in Boston, he didn’t take too long to sign elsewhere.
I don’t believe Eddie has any ill-will or malice toward the Red Sox as they’re the club that gave him his opportunity. We’ve seen both the big lefty and his former teammates sharing the love back and forth since the news broke and it feels like he’s leaving on good terms. I also don’t think there was any malice on the part of Chaim Bloom or the organization, it was simply a deal that wasn’t going to fit the plan going forward.
"“I knew there was a lot of teams out there that wanted me to sign with them,” Rodriguez said. “After I talked to Miggy and started to see what Detroit is and what it’s all about, I made the choice and decided to sign with them.”"
Rodriguez would go on to say that it was his conversations with future Hall of Famer, Miguel Cabrera that turned his sights toward the Motor City. When Miggy does eventually decide to hang up his cleats, I think he has a job in the Chamber of Commerce waiting for him. The man can recruit just as well as he can hit a baseball.
Though Rodriguez focused mostly on what is yet to come in his new home, he didn’t totally shy away from his past. He joked about making sure that when he faced the Red Sox in the future that he’d do his best to strike everyone out. In classic Eddie fashion, this was said with his trademark grin flashing from ear to ear. It’s more than clear how much he loves the guys he’s leaving in Boston and the feeling is mutual.
"“I know I love them,” he continued. “I know they feel happy for me and for what I accomplished now. I know they want the best for me and I still want the best for them, to go out there and ball. And I’ll strike them out all the times I face them.”"
I can admit that I haven’t always been the biggest fan or supporter of E-Rod during his run with the Red Sox but the man more than earned my respect and fandom when all is said and done. Going from a promising prospect to a middling starter, then the strongest arm on the roster, and finally one of the best comeback stories in baseball this season. For everything he went through in 2020, this year had to feel amazing, even with the ups and downs.
Eduardo Rodriguez is a world champion and seemingly one hell of a guy. While I wish his time with the Red Sox could’ve ended on a different note I am glad that he has a new home with a team that clearly wanted him badly. And for as much as he wants to strike our guys out when the two teams meet this upcoming season, I for one, can’t wait to see Rafael Devers and the fellas take him yard.