Diamondbacks agree to four-year deal with Eduardo Rodriguez

The Diamondbacks and left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez are in settlement on a four-year take care of a mean annual worth within the $20M vary, per Jeff Passan of ESPN. 

MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported earlier Wednesday night that Arizona was a finalist for Rodriguez’s providers. In accordance with Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic, the deal ensures Rodriguez 4 years and $80M, with incentives and a vesting possibility that might take the full to a most of 5 years and $99M.

For the reigning NL champions, Rodriguez supplies a 3rd front-of-the-rotation caliber arm to pair with 2023 NL Cy Younger award finalist Zac Gallen and veteran right-hander Merrill Kelly

Regardless of wonderful performances from the membership’s high two arms, who mixed for a 3.39 ERA throughout 64 begins, the membership’s total rotation ranked simply twenty first within the majors final season with a 4.67 ERA. That’s because of a dearth of high quality choices behind Gallen and Kelly. Arizona relied on the likes of Brandon Pfaadt, Ryne Nelson and Zach Davies within the rotation for a lot of the 12 months, every of whom posted ERAs north of 5.00.

Including Rodriguez to the combo ought to assist the membership’s run prevention efforts significantly. The 30-year-old southpaw loved a profession 12 months in 2023 as a member of the Tigers, ending the season with a 3.30 ERA and three.66 FIP throughout 152 2/3 innings of labor whereas putting out 23% of batters confronted in opposition to a stroll fee of simply 7.7%. 

These robust total numbers on the season properly could have been even stronger had Rodriguez managed to remain wholesome all season, because the lefty cruised to a 2.13 ERA and a 25.5% strikeout fee throughout his first eleven begins of the season.

Sadly, Rodriguez subsequently suffered a ruptured pulley tendon on the finish of Might that wound up sidelining him for the whole month of June. Upon returning in early July, Rodriguez struggled to match his wonderful first half efficiency. 

The southpaw delivered respectable outcomes, with a 4.24 ERA and 4.08 FIP over his closing 85 frames, although his strikeout fee dipped to simply 21.2% whereas his stroll fee climbed to eight.9%. 

Happily, Rodriguez bounced again down the stretch to put up a stable 3.60 ERA in September. Assuming the left-hander is totally wholesome getting into the 2024 marketing campaign, he could be a powerful addition to most any rotation within the majors.

Rodriguez’s robust platform marketing campaign landed him the No. 11 spot on MLBTR’s annual Top 50 MLB free agents list, the place we projected him for a four-year, $82M deal that turned out to be proper on the nostril by way of each years and assure, although Rodriguez managed to safe further incentives that might increase the worth of the contract additional. 

Whereas Rodriguez was the seventh-highest rated pitcher on our record, he truly edged out veteran right-hander and fifth-highest rated pitcher Sonny Gray’s whole assure with the Cardinals by $5M. That being stated, Grey’s contract comes with a considerably larger AAV.

The Diamondbacks have proven a willingness to function at this degree of the rotation market previously. Setting apart the six-year, $206.5M megadeal the membership signed Zack Greinke to previous to the 2016 season, the most important free agent contract the Diamondbacks have provided to a pitcher was a five-year, $85M contract for left-hander Madison Bumgarner

That contract proved to be a catastrophe for Arizona, as Bumgarner posted a 5.23 ERA and 5.17 FIP throughout 69 begins for the Diamondbacks over the lifetime of the contract earlier than being launched early within the 2023 marketing campaign regardless of remaining on the books for the 2024 season.

The deal pushes Arizona’s payroll into uncharted territory, with RosterResource projecting the membership’s 2024 payroll at $114M previous to the addition of Rodriguez. Factoring within the membership’s new addition, they Diamondbacks are on the hook for $134M in wage commitments for the 2024 marketing campaign, simply barely edging out the membership’s all-time excessive payroll of $131M again in 2018 (per Cot’s Baseball Contracts). 

The Diamondbacks have made no public indications about their monetary limits this offseason, so it’s unclear how way more room, if any, the membership has to maneuver for future additions. If the membership has extra payroll area to work with, an additional rotation arm to shore up the back of the club’s rotation may make sense, in addition to a right-handed hitter to slot in at DH

To that finish, the membership has lately been related to Lucas Giolito, Seth Lugo, Justin Turner and J.D. Martinez, although it’s unclear if the membership’s curiosity within the aforementioned starters stays following the signing of Rodriguez.

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