Red Sox can't let the Braves get in the way of an Eduardo Rodriguez reunion

Bringing Eduardo Rodriguez back to Boston makes good sense for the Red Sox. They can't let the Braves get him first.

Detroit Tigers v Tampa Bay Rays
Detroit Tigers v Tampa Bay Rays / Julio Aguilar/GettyImages
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According to Michael Marino of Fantrax., the Atlanta Braves have identified former Red Sox starter Eduardo Rodriguez as a potential target early in free agency. This comes after missing out on their No. 1 target, Aaron Nola, who returned to the Phillies on a seven-year, $172 million contract last Sunday.

Rodriguez, who opted out of the final three years and $49 million of his contract with the Tigers earlier this offseason will have no shortage of suitors entering free agency this winter with the Dodgers, Cardinals, Braves and Astros all looking to add to their rotation alongside the Red Sox.

The Red Sox, who chose to not extend Rodriguez after an up and down 2021 which saw the lefty finish with a 4.74 ERA despite promising underlying metrics could look to reunite with Rodriguez who could provide an immediate upgrade to their much maligned rotation which finished 21st in baseball with a 4.52 ERA.

Jon Heyman said as much during his starting pitching primer earlier in the offseason.

"Eduardo Rodriguez could double the $49M he opted out of, and the Cardinals, Red Sox and Phillies look like possible contenders there."

Jon Heyman

While it remains to be seen whether the Red Sox will be involved in Rodriguez's market, as he is projected to receive a four-year deal worth $82 million this winter by MLB Trader Rumors, it's clear he would be an immediate upgrade after posting a 3.30 ERA and 3.66 FIP over 152.2 innings in his second season in Detroit providing a much needed boost and stability that the Red Sox have lacked in recent years.

In the end, it may come down to what new Red Sox CBO Craig Breslow's plans are for the rotation, whether it be shooting for the bigger fish in NL Cy Young Blake Snell or Japanese star Yoshinobu Yamamoto. It's clear this will not be an easy decision for the first-time lead executive who is learning on the job.