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Eduardo Rodriguez and Arizona Diamondbacks agree to $80 million, 4-year deal, AP source says

PHOENIX (AP) — The Arizona Diamondbacks and pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez agreed to an $80 million, four-year contract, according to a person with direct knowledge of the deal.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity Wednesday night because the team had not announced the move.

Rodriguez gives the National League champions another quality starter for their rotation. The 30-year-old left-hander from Venezuela spent the past two seasons with the Detroit Tigers and went 13-9 with a 3.30 ERA in 2023.

Rodriguez joins a Diamondbacks rotation that includes NL Cy Young Award finalist Zac Gallen, veteran Merrill Kelly and youngsters like righty Brandon Pfaadt and lefty Tommy Henry. Rodriguez’s contract has a vesting option and potential bonuses that could make it worth $100 million.

ESPN first reported Rodriguez and the Diamondbacks had reached a deal.

Rodriguez used his no-trade clause this year to block a deal to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the Aug. 1 deadline. He and his agent cited family reasons.

After the season, Rodriguez opted out of the final three years and $49 million on his contract with the Tigers to become a free agent.

Now he comes to the D-backs, who could use help in their rotation. During their recent run to the World Series, Arizona only had three true starting pitchers, using the bullpen to get through Game 4 of the NL Championship Series and World Series.

Rodriguez broke into the big leagues with Boston and spent his first six seasons with the Red Sox from 2015-21, helping them win the 2018 World Series. He went a career-best 19-6 with a 3.81 ERA in 2019, finishing sixth in AL Cy Young Award voting. He surpassed 200 innings pitched and made 34 starts that year — tied for most in the majors.

But he missed the pandemic-shortened 2020 season because of a heart issue caused by COVID-19. The Red Sox said Rodriguez showed evidence of myocarditis, an inflammation of the heart.

The team called it a mild condition and said the pitcher was expected to make a full recovery.

A healthy Rodriguez returned the following year, going 13-8 with a 4.74 ERA over 157 2/3 innings for Boston. He became a free agent and signed a $77 million, five-year contract with Detroit in November 2021 that included an opt out following the 2023 season. After two years with the Tigers, he chose to end a deal that would have paid him $18 million in 2024, $16 million in 2025 and $15 million in 2026.

In June 2022, 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 put together a strong 2023 season for a rebuilding franchise that finished second in the AL Central at 78-84.

Rodriguez is 82-53 with a 4.03 ERA in 202 games, including 196 starts, over eight major league seasons. He signed with Baltimore as an amateur in 2010 and was traded to Boston at the July 2014 deadline for reliever Andrew Miller.

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AP MLB: https://apnews.com/MLB

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