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Cubs free agent target: Eduardo Rodriguez

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Here’s another lefty who could bolster the rotation.

Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images

In an effort to put before you someone who I think you’ll like and who could be a solid contributor to the Cubs rotation for several years to come, I present today a case for the Cubs to sign Eduardo Rodriguez, who is now a free agent after spending six years with the Red Sox.

Rodriguez had solid years in 2018 (3.0 bWAR) and 2019 (6.1 bWAR) and in the latter year, finished sixth in American League Cy Young voting. He did lead the AL in walks that year (75), but he also led the league in starts (34) and so his overall walk rate (3.1 per nine innings) was still decent.

Rodriguez sat out the 2020 season after a bout with COVID-19 which caused a myocarditis (heart) inflammation. He returned in 2021 with a full workload of 32 appearances (31 starts), though his innings were managed. He threw just 157⅓ innings this past season, and followed that up with three postseason starts (12⅔ innings total), so his workload hasn’t been too great recently.

His overall numbers for 2021 (4.74 ERA, 1.389 WHIP) don’t look so great, but from August 1 through season’s end he posted a 3.28 ERA (and 3.07 FIP) in 12 games (11 starts) with 64 strikeouts and just 19 walks in 58 innings. He’s got a good mix of pitches:

Statcast

Rodriguez made $8.3 million in 2021. He turns 29 shortly after Opening Day 2022, so he’s one of the younger starters on the free agent market. For a guy like that you could probably offer a five-year deal, and I think the Cubs should do that. Total cost? Let’s say $70 million over those five years for a $14 million AAV.

Who says no?

Poll

Eduardo Rodriguez...

This poll is closed

  • 23%
    ... should be signed by the Cubs to a deal like the one in the article
    (195 votes)
  • 7%
    ... sign him, but that’s not enough, it’ll take more years or dollars or both
    (59 votes)
  • 68%
    ... don’t want him. Pass
    (570 votes)
  • 1%
    Something else (leave in comments)
    (13 votes)
837 votes total Vote Now