DETROIT (AP) — Tigers ace Eduardo Rodriguez used his no-trade clause to block a deal to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Tuesday.
“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,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said after Tuesday’s trade deadline.
Los Angeles and Detroit agreed to a trade, but the struggling Tigers were unable to move Rodriguez because of terms in his contract.
The 30-year-old left-hander can opt out of his $77 million, five-year deal to become a free agent after the World Series. Or he can choose to play out an agreement that would pay him $18 million in 2024, $16 million in 2025 and $15 million in 2026.
Rodriguez is 6-5 with a 2.95 ERA this season and 75-49 in his major league career.
“His performance is a fit for every team in baseball,” Tigers general manager Scott Harris said. “However, there were contractual headwinds that influenced his market.”
Rodriguez has bounced back this season after going 5-5 in just 17 starts last year, his first in Detroit after cashing in on his strong run with the Boston Red Sox.
“We’re excited to get Eduardo back,” Harris said. “He sent a very strong message that he likes it here.”
In June of last year, the Tigers placed Rodriguez on the restricted list after he informed them he would not rejoin the team due to personal matters. He returned later in the year and has been one of top pitchers for the rebuilding franchise this season.
“We thought we would be very desirable, but obviously for family reasons we never got a chance to talk to Eduardo, but we talked to his agent numerous times,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said. “Obviously, we would have loved for him to join what we have going here, but it’s hard for us to argue with family reasons.”
Detroit did get a significant deal done before the deadline, sending right-hander Michael Lorenzen to the Philadelphia Phillies for minor league infielder Hao-Yu Lee on Tuesday.
The Tigers added Philadelphia’s No. 5 prospect, according to MLB Pipeline. The Phillies signed Lee out of Taiwan in 2021.
The 20-year-old second baseman has hit .283 with a .372 on-base percentage and 14 stolen bases in 64 games for High-A Jersey Shore this season.
“We like Lee’s bat a great deal,” said Phillies team president Dave Dombrowski, a former Tigers general manager. “Maybe he’ll go over to third base, but he can really hit. He’s a good, young player. It’s not something we wanted to do, but sometimes you have to give to get.”
Detroit did finalize one 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.
AP Sports Writer Beth Harris contributed from Los Angeles.
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