Eduardo Rodriguez Shocks Baseball World By BLOCKING Trade To Contending Dodgers

The strangest thing to happen on MLB trade deadline day was without question Detroit Tigers ace Eduardo Rodriguez exercising his no-trade clause to veto a deal that would have sent him to the World Series contending Los Angeles Dodgers.

Tigers General Manager Scott Harris confirmed the situation, stating that they had an agreement with the Dodgers but couldn’t complete the trade due to Rodriguez’s veto.

“We reached an agreement that he was not comfortable with,” Harris explained.

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts confirmed that Rodriguez utilized his 10-team no-trade clause to block the trade. The Dodgers were actively pursuing high-end starting pitchers, and Rodriguez was one of their top targets.

“To have a chance to come to a team with guys that he’s familiar with, on a team that’s playing for a championship, it’s surprising,” Roberts said Tuesday before the Dodgers’ 7-3 win over the Oakland Athletics.

Dodgers President of Baseball Operations Andrew Friedman echoed the same sentiment of surprise.

“We thought it was done…and then we learned that it wasn’t,” Friedman said. “We thought with having a lot of his ex-teammates and guys he’s played with, our place in the standings, I thought we would be very desirable,”

“We never got a chance to talk to Eduardo. But we talked to his agent numerous times. We respect that he had this right and he exercised it. Obviously would’ve loved for him to join what we have going here. But it’s hard for us to argue with family reasons.”

Rodriguez has the option to opt-out of his current five-year, $77 million contract after the season and become a free agent. Alternatively, he can continue to play under the existing deal that would pay him $18 million in 2024, $16 million in 2025, and $15 million in 2026.

“We’re excited to get Eduardo back,” Harris said. “He sent a very strong message that he likes it here.”

Despite his solid performance this season with a 6-5 record and a 2.95 ERA, Detroit faced challenges in trading Rodriguez due to the financial implications of his contract. The risk of him potentially opting out after a short time with a new team led to uncertainties.

“His performance is a fit for every team in baseball,” Harris said. “However, there were contractual headwinds that influenced his market.”

Rodriguez has had an impressive bounce-back season after going 5-5 in 17 starts last year. In June 2022, he briefly left the Tigers due to personal matters but returned later in the year and has since been a key asset for the rebuilding franchise.

In the final minutes of the trade deadline, Detroit managed to complete a deal with the Dodgers, acquiring minor league infielder Eddys Leonard for cash. Leonard, who was hitting .254 in Double-A, was assigned to Triple-A Toledo.

Meanwhile, the Dodgers made a deal for pitcher Ryan Yarbrough from the Kansas City Royals, sending minor league infielders Devin Mann and Derlin Figueroa in return.

Yarbrough, 31, has shown strong performances recently after returning from a two-month absence due to an injury. He has posted a 4-5 record with a 4.24 ERA for the season, and as a starter, he boasts a 3.08 ERA. Yarbrough holds a career record of 44-36 with a 4.32 ERA, having played for Tampa Bay and Kansas City.

With the trade deadline now behind them, both teams will focus on the remainder of the season with their respective rosters. Detroit will look to continue their rebuilding process with Rodriguez leading the pitching staff, while the Dodgers will aim to maintain their strong push for another World Series title.

What do you think of Rodriguez’s decision to turn down a chance to play for a championship contender?

Do you think it speaks horribly of his competitiveness? Or do you suspect there were other factors at play?