The Cincinnati Reds are interested in Detroit Tigers left-handed starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez according to Mike Rodriguez. Rodriguez is an interesting trade target as he’s signed through the 2026 season and would fit into the longer term plans for the organization. But he’s also got an opt-out following this season, which makes things a bit more difficult. More on that later.

The 2023 season has been the best one – at least so far – of the career for Eduardo Rodriguez. The 30-year-old lefty has a 2.95 ERA in 15 starts for the Tigers while allowing eight home runs, walking 21 batters, and picking up 91 strikeouts in 88.1 innings. He missed all of June with an injury and since returning he’s made four starts and allowed 13 runs in 20.2 innings while walking five batters and striking out 24.

Rodriguez is making $14,000,000 in 2023. He’s owed $18,000,000, $16,000,000, and $15,000,000 over the next three seasons. While that’s not exactly cheap, it’s not all that expensive in today’s game, either. This is where the opt-out comes into play. Having a strong season, Rodriguez could take his chances on the market following the season and see if he can get a better deal than the three years and $49,000,000 that he’s owed if he doesn’t. Max Scherzer, who was traded yesterday, also had an opt-out after this season. As a part of the trade he said he would not use that option. Rodriguez may be asked to make that same decision prior to a trade being finalized.

Looking at his track record for his career, he’s been an above-average pitcher for much of his career, though never quite at that All-Star level.

2015 10 6 3.85 121.2 120 13 37 98 1.29
2016 3 7 4.71 107.0 99 16 40 100 1.30
2017 6 7 4.19 137.1 126 19 50 150 1.28
2018 13 5 3.82 129.2 119 16 45 146 1.27
2019 19 6 3.81 203.1 195 24 75 213 1.33
2021 13 8 4.74 157.2 172 19 47 185 1.39
2022 5 5 4.05 91.0 87 12 34 72 1.33
2023 6 5 2.95 88.1 70 8 21 91 1.03
8 Yrs 75 49 4.05 1036.0 988 127 349 1055 1.29

With a young rotation, Rodriguez could provide both some stability and he could also provide some veteran presence if that’s something you think that the team could use.

Given the length of his contract, the cost to acquire Eduardo Rodriguez probably won’t be “cheap”. You are probably going to be looking at giving up some quality minor leaguers in a deal to bring him over. Exactly who is something that’s tougher to figure out, but even with all of the call ups that Cincinnati has had this season, they still have a deep farm system with plenty of quality prospects to get deals done. Of course, Detroit may have to get some assurances on the next three years from Rodriguez to get a big return, otherwise they are looking at trading a player away who could be viewed more as a potential 2-month rental instead of a 3-year and 2-month starter.

This article has been updated. Originally it did not include information that Rodriguez had an opt-out clause following this season as it was not listed in the contract details at Baseball Reference.

60 Responses

  1. BatsLeftThrowsRight

    doubt this ownership is going to take on this salary situation for multiple years.

    • Votto4life

      I agree. I don’t see the Reds taking on that much salary. I also don’t see Rodriguez just waiving his opt out clause without compensation. Maybe they will Surprise us.

    • RedBB

      I think they will as way more than that comes of the books next year with Votto and Moose gone. That being said the talent required to get Rodriguez may be way too high.

      • MK

        Guess I would rather use that money to extend some of our young guys at least getting them through arbitration years. Do have to rememberer Greene gets a couple million increase and they will still owe Votto $7million for his there is 9 million of that savings. Does Griffey still get paid next year?

      • JayTheRed

        @MK Griffey’s last payment is this year.

  2. BK

    The option he has to opt out of his contract is a significant complicating factor in any trade involving Rodriguez.

    • RedBB

      Didn’t realize he had some. If that’s the case you could pool get him for a couple lower level prospect. Say like Jose Acuna and Carlos Jorge or something. Or maybe Lyone Richardson and Blake Dunn. That might be too much though unless he decides not to opt out.

    • Jim Elliott

      Maybe he agrees to opt out & Detroit cant ask for much in return & Cincy gets a rental without giving up much

  3. Alex Reds

    Absolutely horrible idea. I’d much rather have Lively, and Lively is pitching significantly better in the last two months. In the last 7 seasons as a starter, Rodriguez second most innings is 157 and third most innings is 137 innings. That’s not much and shows he’s oft injured. He’s already 30 years old, coming off another injury for the month of June, unproductive when he came back with 13 runs in 20 innings. That contract is going to be ugly, possibly it already is if he continues to perform poorly this season, he’s owed $49 million next three years. I don’t see Rodriguez as a difference maker, he had a lucky year to start the year but has already tailed off and is pitching worse than Weaver recently. This would end up ugly fast, even just the money he would be paid, you would be much better off using that money in free agency this off-season. Big no, I wouldn’t even take on that contract if no prospects were involved. Money better spent elsewhere. A mistake like that will eat up over 10% of your payroll in future seasons.

  4. Doctorrockett

    No. Please. Do not give up any prospects for this fella. We’re fine with what we currently have. My goodness…first it was the Lynn bullet we dodged now this nonsense…sheesh…

  5. SR

    Why a left handed starter? Abbot, Williamson and Lodolo aren’t enough? How about a functional lefty reliever???? Cheaper and more of an urgent need.

    • Old Big Ed

      This is a correct opinion. I’d rather have Brad Hand and/or Brent Suter from the Rockies.

      The chance of Rodriguez’s getting hurt — and the Reds getting stuck with $49 million — makes this a hard “no” for me. The exception would be if he opted out as part of the deal now, making him a rental. The Reds would likely have to give him some $$ to do that, though, because he doesn’t want to assume the injury risk, either. I kinda predict that Rodriguez sticks with the Tigers and opts out.

  6. Melvin

    Interesting. Yes I agree he won’t come cheap. I wander what the Reds will do with all of the starting pitching when everyone is healthy. Rodriguez, Greene, Lodolo, Aschcraft, Abbott, Williamson, Phillips, Lively, etc. Would he help this year? Probably. Personally I don’t know about it. What would we have to give up? It seems a good lefty reliever would help more than a starter.

    • Indy Red Man

      Williamson has that big loopy curveball that lefty hitters hate plus he could be the long man we don’t have now. Thats providing Lodolo is better then what we’ve seen from Williamson? Maybe Lodolo ends up as Andrew Miller?

      • Melvin

        Williamson in the pen this year is no problem. I’m thinking more long term. He’s much more valuable as a starter.

    • Indy Red Man

      I’m just thinking one bigger free agent starter could really help and Ashcraft, Greene, Lodolo, and Abbott appear to have higher ceilings then Williamson. “Appear” being the key word because Williamson has really blossomed

      • jmb

        How many of these starters have innings limits this season? Does Ashcroft? Abbott for sure has one; he’ll probably be moved to the pen when Lodolo returns, or even when Greene does. Williamson, I think, has the fewest innings of all their starters so far, so a move to the pen, in that case, doesn’t seem likely. That Greene and Lodolo are progressing is great news! Lively is solid and Weaver, well, he had his best outing yet yesterday…in a loss, imagine that. How many innings Phillips and/or Richardson would be able to contribute is questionable. And remember, as far as innings are concerned, the GM has to think through the WS, not just till the end of the season–lots of innings to be pitched if the Reds go deeply into the postseason!

  7. Steelerfan

    Of all the candidates on the MLB Trade Rumors top 20, he is my least favorite. Add to the end of the bullpen or a pure rental.

  8. Optimist

    Intriguing, and I wonder if they can load contingencies into a deal – namely two lists of PTNBLs depending on whether he exercises the opt-out or not. May be more useful as a rental, which requires a much lower prospect. Per comments above, doubtful about long-term-high$$ pitching contracts, and loss of prospects for that.

    • Optimist

      Also – if they take on the entire contract, that should lower the prospects needed to get it done – make the Tigers choose between shedding $$$ and receiving prospects.

  9. west larry

    If the ownership is willing to commit that much money, let’s go for Otani. $600.00 million for ten years? Hell, it’s not my money! (no emoji’s available, so imagine a smiling face}.

  10. Indy Red Man

    No risk attached to Lorenzen compared to Rodriguez and he obviously could help in the pen if needed. If I was going to take a big shot it would be for Snell

    • west larry

      I understand that several teams are chasing Lorenzen. I’d like to have him back too.

      • jmb

        The question is Which Lorenzen are you going to get? He’s doing well this season, but what if you goes back to having an ERA over 5 after you trade for him? In that case, better to stick with Weaver and save the prospects. Though I am open to a trade to acquire at least one starter. As India is now out of the trade picture, there’s no reason to think the Reds wouldn’t trade for a rental, which should come more cheaply.

    • RedBB

      Rodriguez is WAY better than Lorenzen.

      • JayTheRed

        Thank you. Rodriguez is one of the few starting pitchers that are rumored to be available that I actually think would be a good move for the Reds.

        Hey, guess what we don’t need 25 shortstops prospects. Plus, we have no clue what they are going to do as they move up to higher levels.

  11. CI3J

    Trading multiple prospects for an oft-injured, 30-year old lefty with an opt-out?

    Sign me up!

  12. -CP-

    This all depends on the prospects given up. The opt-out should lower the cost of the trade and the organization could use some certainty & experience over the next couple of years to supplement Greene, Lodolo, and Abbott. They have no money tied up in the position players so the starting rotation and bullpen are where they need to focus their financial resources for now.

  13. Pete

    If the Reds had a shot at winning it all, I could see it. But with three decent left-handed starters on the existing roster, no thanks. Old, brittle and expensive are not attributes that I would think we are shopping for.

    • doofus

      It could be that Lodolo is also a brittle LHP?

    • JayTheRed

      Sorry 30 IS NOT OLD!

      35 in baseball terms might be getting up there, but 30 is still a young enough age and almost all free agents are around the age of 30.

  14. MBS

    I’m a big fan of making a move for a starter, but I don’t know if he’s the guy. The devil is in the details, so I guess we’d need to see who we’d need to trade, and if there was a way to negotiate a removal of his opt out. I think Scherzer made that concession when he was traded.

    • Votto4life

      If the Reds could get Rodriguez without giving up much then fine, but not sure why they would give up a-lot for a guy who could opt out at the end of the season. The Tigers stand a good chance of this guy leaving in two months. I mean maybe the Reds offer a couple of B prospects for him, but I don’t see the Reds trading Jose Barrero and a prospect for him. I certainly don’t see the Reds trading a major league pitcher for him unless it’s Luke Weaver.

  15. redfanorbust

    No thanks. Reds have too many pitchers coming back from injury or knocking at the door from the minors. Also another big reason is the money we have freed up next year to go out and get free agents. By then we will have a much better understanding of where we are with our pitching and we will not have to give up prospects. Only trade I make this year and I really do not want to as price will be premium, is a solid RP pref a LHRP controllable for at least for next year if one is available.

    • LarkinPhillips

      Brad hand and/or Raley from the Mets is my preference. Neither are getting a lot of press and both would help us tremendously with a fairly low cost. Maybe 20-25 ranked prospect a piece. Raley is controlled through next year as well.

      • Optimist

        Agreed on Raley as a once ang future Red. The absolute right-now, immediate need is LHRP. He’s in a very productive stretch, still has another year, is older, and inexpensive. Don’t overpay for relief help but fill the niche need.

        Go big on very few starters (hint – Snell).

    • doofus

      “If” they come back from injury in time?

      • Votto4life

        Hunter Greene is still three weeks away. I think he is the mostly likely to contribute some. I don’t have much hope Lodolo is going to contribute much this season. Still, I really wouldn’t want to depend on Hunter Greene this season.

    • Redsvol

      If Eduardo Rodriguez was available as a free agent, teams would be lining up to offer him $15 million per year for 4-5 years. This may be the best of both worlds, get him as a rental and then try and use the experience to get him to sign an extension with us.

      Many of the rehabbing pitchers won’t make it back in time to help much – if at all. Tejay Antone got lit up by high schoolers last night in Arizona (not a good sign). Guittierez hasn’t pitched in 15 months. Lodolo always seems to have something wrong with him. Greene is a stud and I have confidence he will provide something once he gets back.

      Reliever performance is very unpredictable year over year. I would be content with a pure rental of a couple relievers. Chances of them being above average next year are slim.

      With the India injury, the calculus has changed and we need another bat – preferably an outfielder. Plus 2 good relievers with 1 being a lefty.

  16. Protime

    The opportunity was missed by not pursuing Chapman when he was available. Lorenzen over Rodriguez makes more sense. So far all we have is a three-year extension to a subpar marginal manager. No help, and the clock is ticking against the Reds.

    • JayTheRed

      Chapman story is gone and over with he is a Ranger.
      We know what we would be getting in Lorenzen and I honestly don’t think it’s much of an upgrade.

  17. J

    It’s still not five seconds before the deadline, so I doubt the Reds are seriously considering any trades yet. At best, they’re in the preliminary stages of starting to think seriously about whether to start weighing the pros and cons of considering whether to make some sort of serious offer. No need for any urgency yet.

  18. Mark A Verticchio

    This would be a very bad idea, he would not fit into any long term plans. The opt out is a killer plus he isn’t a difference maker.

  19. Jason Franklin

    If they did trade for Rodriguez, it would probably be a major league starter and a minor league player or two. That’s only if they could get him to agree to not opting out after a year. I wonder if they are offering Lodolo and someone in the minors ?

    • LarkinPhillips

      I hope Lodolo and more isn’t the trade offer. I’d rather stay with Lodolo and have the extra 15 million dollars to invest elsewhere.

    • Harry Stoner


      Trading Lodolo for Rodriguez?

      Krall’s cred would nose-dive.

      I fear the mantra of “must trade for starting pitching” is flying in the face of how Reds starters have actually been performing.

      To trade a top shelf pitching prospect and take on that much salary seems nutty to me.

      Tigers would jump at that, I bet.

      • David

        I may be mistaken, but I don’t think you can trade a player on the Disabled List.

  20. Redsvol

    I don’t hate the idea but he isn’t exactly a future innings eater that this team needs. Only in 1 of his years has he handled a large workload. The price would have to be based on a 2 month rental because you can’t count on him opting in. And someone else pointed out his performance is trending down last 5 starts.

    Perhaps Levi Stoudt + Almonte?

    If we get a starter, I hope its someone we have for at least 2024.

    I’m thinking more and more that we focus on relievers and get an outfield bat – perhaps Mark Canha. Mets in full sell-off mode. And bats are cheap!

  21. jmb

    Angel’s Ward will be out for some time, due to being hit in the face yesterday. There’s gong for it all, in order to win with and/or impress Ohtani. So now they need an infielder and an outfielder. They put Cabbage in center yesterday, a guy who’s never played center! I wonder if they’d like Newman and Senzel or Benson. If they could land a starter (Verlander, Clevinger, Rodriguez,…), I wonder if the Reds could get Detmers from them.

  22. Michael B. Green

    If Connor Phillips is not involved in a trade, the organization needs to figure out if he is an SP or a RP. The walks are an issue, as they are for any SP.

    I think Abbott, Greene, Lodolo, Ashcraft, and maybe Williamson are the rotation pieces for the next few years. The question is whether Phillips is part of that group – particularly when it seems like 1-3 of them is injured at any given point in time.

    We need an immediate replacement for Weaver if we are serious about winning the division. Neither Greene nor Lodolo are the immediate help. Late August maybe.

    I wonder what Williamson’s innings limit is, or Abbott’s limit? This could play a role too.

    We definitely need new guys to pitch in the 7th and 8th. I don’t want to see Sims or Gibaut near high leverage games that matter. 5th and 6th is their lane.

    Interesting to see what happens as we approach the Deadline.

  23. lost11found

    Not sure why a rental is such a bad thing.

    Less prospect capital for perhaps a higher quality arm, if the right deal presents itself. FA market or minors can replace the rental in the Off season. Even if they resign votto a 1 or 2 year deal and/or start extending younger player, there is alot of money coming free.

    Having a successful season on the field and at the turnstiles/TV money, may convince ownership to give GM more flexibility.

    • JayTheRed

      So go for Verlander…. I know it’s a dream that will never come true.

  24. Votto4life

    If the Reds are going to spend that kind of dough I would prefer they bring Luis Castillo back.

  25. Jim E

    What about trading for Verlander (alot of playoff experience to teach the Reds youngsters & help young pitchers) & LHP Raley (2.42 ERA) for Chase Petty (#5), Jay Allen (#8), Stu Fairchild, Rece Hinds (#13) & Austin Hendrick (#17). I would do that. Not touching the better prospects & get help for pitching

    • AllTheHype

      I’m very sure the Reds would love to trade their underperforming and AAAA prospects (minus Petty) for quality players too. Other teams will want impact prospects though, not underperforming ones.

  26. Rod Andrews

    Stand pat. A bird in hand ………

  27. Fanman

    Reds need a veteran pitcher in the rotation. I Love the promise of our rookie pitchers, however, Greene and Lodolo aren’t returning for another 3-4 weeks. Then Abbott will be approaching his innings limit. Also, need another lefty in bullpen. Even if we move one of rookie lefty starters there temporarily. There is an old baseball adage, You can never have enough pitching.

    • Rick

      Earlier Krall stated, that AA isn’t on a inning limit unless he walks that back.