The Red Sox extended a qualifying offer to Eduardo Rodriguez on November 7, giving the left-hander 10 days to either accept or reject the one-year, $18.4 million deal for 2022.
A full week has passed since Rodriguez received Boston’s qualifying offer, which means he has just three more days, or until Nov. 17 at 5 p.m. eastern time, to make his decision.
If accepted, Rodriguez would return to the Sox on that aforementioned one-year deal for the 2022 campaign. If rejected, the ISE Baseball client would remain a free agent, though any other club that signs him would then owe Boston compensation in the form of a draft pick.
In the time that has gone by since the Red Sox extended a qualifying offer in Rodriguez’s direction, the Venezuelan southpaw has also received a multi-year contract offer from Boston, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman.
Rodriguez, 28, is just two years removed from finishing sixth in American League Cy Young voting in 2019, but missed all of the compressed 2020 season after contracting myocarditis (inflammation of the heart muscle) as a result of a bout with COVID-19.
This past season, the 6-foot-2, 231 pound hurler posted a 4.74 ERA and 3.32 FIP to go along with 185 strikeouts to 47 walks over 32 appearances (31 starts) spanning 157 2/3 total innings of work.
On the surface, Rodriguez’s 4.74 ERA may seem deterring. However, among the 18 left-handers who accrued at least 150 innings this season, he ranked second in strikeout rate (27.4%), third in FIP, and second in xFIP (3.43), per FanGraphs.
Because of those improved peripherals, Rodriguez is projected by MLB Trade Rumors to net himself a five-year, $70 million contract in free agency this winter. FanGraphs‘ Ben Clemens also projects he could land a four-year, $80 million pact if the opportunity presents itself.
To that end, Red Sox general manager Brian O’Halloran told reporters (including MassLive.com’s Christopher Smith) during last week’s GM meetings that the club was engaged in contract talks with Rodriguez and that they “would love to bring him back.”
Chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom added on to that, indicating that the Sox were indeed interested in bringing Rodriguez back on some sort of multi-year deal.
“I think when there’s mutual interest in some kind of longer-term deal, it makes sense to talk as much as you can and to keep that line of communication open,” Bloom said. “So I expect that will happen.”
The Red Sox originally acquired Rodriguez, then a 21-year-old pitching prospect, from the Orioles in exchange for fellow lefty Andrew Miller at the 2014 trade deadline. As an impending free agent, Miller remained in Baltimore for just a few months before signing a lucrative four-year deal with the Yankees that winter.
Rodriguez, on the other hand, has for the most part established himself as a key cog in Boston’s starting rotation since making his major-league debut in May 2015. As O’Halloran alluded to, he is clearly someone the Red Sox would like to bring back for 2022 and beyond.
That being said, Rodriguez does not turn 29 until next April, so his earning window would still be pretty wide open even if he were to accept the Sox’ qualifying offer and set himself up to hit the open market again at the conclusion of the 2022 season.
If he elects to become a free agent now by rejecting the qualifying offer, it does appear as though Rodriguez already has a number of suitors. MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported on Sunday that the Angels, Blue Jays, and Tigers were among the teams interested in Rodriguez’s services.
Interest from the Red Sox and other clubs aside, Rodriguez is technically still on the clock as those involved anxiously await the result of his decision, which is due no later than Wednesday evening.
(Picture of Eduardo Rodriguez: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)