The Detroit Tigers have signed Eduardo Rodriguez to a five-year, $77 million dollar contract.
Rodriguez recorded 157.2 innings pitched for the Boston Red Sox in 2021 while posting a 13-8 record and 4.74 ERA.
Rodriguez is another left-handed pitcher off the free-agent market early in the off-season. This move could really help turn the Tigers around if he can continue his progression.
Detroit Tigers Sign Eduardo Rodriguez
The Tigers added a key piece with this move. Mize, Skubal, and Manning are still under 25 years old and Rodriguez will provide a needed veteran presence in this pitching staff.
Rodriguez will slide into the top of the Tiger rotation but Mize is still looked at as the ace. Moving forward this could be one of the best starting rotations in baseball.
The Tigers finished 77-85 in 2021 and showed improvements in many statistics from the year prior. Their ERA in 2020 was 5.63 and in 2021 dipped to 4.32. The team also lowered its WHIP from 1.43 to 1.37 and its batting average against from .265 to .252. Heading into 2022 I expect these numbers to get even better with Rodriguez on the mound for Detroit.
A Season Of Highs And Lows
Rodriguez had a strange 2021 season that saw career-highs and career-lows. He recorded a career-high ERA (4.74) while having a career-low FIP (3.32). He also set a career-high for strikeouts per nine innings (10.56) and a career-low in walks per nine innings (2.68), but still allowed a career-high WHIP (1.39).
Despite these solid stats he still finished with an ERA worse than league average. While the high ERA is concerning, Fantasy Baseball managers should see this as a fluke and expect it to lower in 2022.
2022 Fantasy Baseball Outlook
Heading into last season, Rodriguez had an ADP of 199, just below Andrew Heaney, Framber Valdez, and Aaron Civale. Now going into the 2022 Fantasy Baseball draft season I'm expecting Rodriguez to go at an ADP around 150 and will be a must draft player if he falls past that point. It's possible he can finish as a top-50 starting pitcher in 2022.
It's likely his high ERA in 2021 will scare some Fantasy Baseball managers when it's time to draft. However, this is the time to go and get Rodriguez as he is only getting better. The left-hander is moving to a lower scoring division in the American League Central. His would-be opponents in the American League Central scored 145 fewer runs than his opponents in the American League East last season.
Be sure to check out all the 2022 Fantasy Baseball content as the season gets closer.