Major League Baseball free agency began Nov. 8, but the first significant deal was inked on Monday.
The Detroit Tigers on Monday signed left-handed starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez to a five-year, $77 million contract. The deal is by far the largest of the young 2021-22 offseason.
This past season in his age-28 campaign with Boston, Rodriguez posted a career-worst 4.74 ERA in 31 starts. Despite the near-5.00 ERA, Rodriguez’s peripherals were all above average, including his 27.4% strikeout rate and 11.7% swinging strike rate.
Rodriguez began his professional career in the Orioles’ minor-league system before being traded to Boston in a package for then-star reliever Andrew Miller.
About a dozen free agents are expected to sign contracts north of what Rodriguez received, according to multiple contract projection websites.
The top available players are shortstops Carlos Correa, Corey Seager and Trevor Story as well as third baseman Kris Bryant and former Nationals starting pitcher Max Scherzer.