If Eduardo Rodriguez returns to the Red Sox, it’ll be on a multi-year deal.
Rodriguez rejected the Sox’ one-year qualifying offer worth $18.4 million, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman, who reported the news late Sunday night while saying Rodriguez informed them of the decision last week during the general managers’ meetings.
MLB Trade Rumors projects Rodriguez to land a $70 million deal over five years, a contract that seems both reasonable and affordable for a big market team looking to solidify the middle of their rotation.
But the Red Sox might be less inclined to maintain the 28-year-old left-hander now that the club is due to receive a draft pick if he signs elsewhere.
The Sox would receive a pick just before the third round. They famously drafted Mookie Betts in the fifth round in 2011. They’ve also found gems like Jonathan Papelbon in the third round in 2003, Anthony Rizzo in the sixth round in 2007 and Kevin Youkilis in the eighth round in 2011, among other mid-round bargains.
Rodriguez had a 4.75 ERA in 2021 and would’ve taken up almost 10% of the Sox’ payroll if he accepted the one-year offer. But he impressed in other areas while posting a career-high strikeout rate of 10.5 batters per nine innings.
Even so, at around $14 million per year, Rodriguez is a luxury as a No. 3 or No. 4 starter. The Sox might also want to upgrade with…