The Red Sox have extended a qualifying offer to Eduardo Rodriguez, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.
Rodriguez, 28, filed for free agency on Wednesday, while the Red Sox had until 5 p.m. eastern time on Sunday to extend a qualifying offer towards the left-hander.
This offseason, the qualifying offer — the average salary of the highest-paid 125 players in baseball — is valued at $18.4 million, which represents a raise from the $8.3 million Rodriguez earned in 2021.
After finishing sixth in American League Cy Young Award voting in 2019 and missing all of 2020 due to myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) which came as a result of a bout with COVID-19, Rodriguez experienced plenty of ups and downs throughout the 2021 campaign.
Across 32 appearances (31 starts), Rodriguez posted a 4.74 ERA and strikeout-to-walk ratio of 185:47 over 157 1/3 innings of work. While that ERA may not look great on the surface, the Venezuelan southpaw did put up a much more respectable 3.32 FIP, 3.43 xFIP, 3.55 xERA, and 3.64 SIERA this year.
The decision made by the Red Sox to extend Rodriguez a qualifying offer does not come as much of a surprise. By doing so, Boston gives the lefty the opportunity to either return to the club on a one-year, $18.4 million deal or test the free agent waters.
Rodriguez now has 10 days, or until November 17 at the latest, to accept or reject the Sox’ qualifying offer. If accepted, he will return to Boston for the 2022 season with the chance to become a free agent again next winter and would not be able to receive a qualifying offer for a second time. If rejected, he becomes a free agent and can sign with another club immediately.
If Rodriguez, a client of ISE Baseball, were to reject Boston’s offer and sign with another team this winter, that team would then owe the Red Sox compensation in the form of a draft pick.
What Rodriguez decides to do should be interesting to say the very least. Since he does not turn 29 until next April, his earning window would still be pretty wide open even if he were to accept the qualifying offer for this season.
There have been recent instances where a player (see Kevin Gausman and Marcus Stroman) has accepted the qualifying offer and then put themselves in a position to cash out in free agency the following winter.
That being said, coming into this offseason, only 10 of 96 players to be extended a qualifying offer have accepted it since the system was first introduced in 2012.
(Picture of Eduardo Rodriguez: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)