DETROIT (AP) — Tigers ace Eduardo Rodriguez used his no-trade clause to veto a deal Tuesday and remain with Detroit, general manager Scott Harris said.
Harris confirmed the team had an agreement on a trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers and also confirmed that Rodriguez exercised his no-trade clause before Tuesday’s trade deadline, although he declined to say if Rodriguez specifically blocked the deal with LA. ESPN and others, citing anonymous sources, reported Tuesday that Rodriguez killed the deal between the Tigers and Dodgers.
Rodriguez’s contract includes a provision that allows him to block trades to 10 teams in every season.
“We reached an agreement that he was not comfortable with,” Harris said.
Rodriguez can opt out of his $77 million, five-year contract after the season and become a free agent, or he can choose to play out the deal that pays 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.”
Detroit was unable to deal Rodriguez despite his 6-5 record with a 2.95 ERA this season, and a career record of 75-49, in large part because of his contract.
If he chooses to opt out of his deal following the season, the team that could have added him ahead of the trade deadline would have him on the mound for a short time.
If the 30-year-old Rodriguez had a significant injury with his new team, it would risk having a banged-up pitcher on the payroll for three seasons and $49 million.
“His performance is a fit for every team in baseball,” 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.
In June of last year, the Tigers placed Rodriguez on the restricted list after he informed them that 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.
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 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.