The Boston Red Sox have reportedly made a qualifying offer to their longest-tenured starting pitcher prior to free agency.
Lefty Eduardo Rodriguez, who went 13-8 with a 4.74 earned run average over 157.2 innings in an up-and-down 2021, can either accept a one-year deal which would pay him $18.4 million or elect to test unrestricted free agency for the first time in his career.
Should Rodriguez turn down the offer, Boston will be eligible to receive draft pick compensation from the team who signs him -- although with the current Collective Bargaining Agreement set to expire in December, there could be some tweaks to that system if Rodriguez remains unsigned.
Rodriguez, 28, missed all of the abbreviated 2020 season due to complications caused by a bout with COVID-19. Prior to that, however, the Venezuelan had turned in back-to-back solid campaigns in 2018 and 2019, going 32-11 with a 3.81 ERA and 359 strikeouts over 333 innings. Rodriguez finished sixth in American League Cy Young voting in 2019, when he went 19-6 and pitched a career-best 203.1 innings.
Earlier Sunday, the Red Sox reportedly declined their team option on starting pitcher Martin Perez, leaving Chris Sale, Nathan Eovaldi, Tanner Houck and Nick Pivetta as the lone members of the 2021 rotation under contract for next season.
Rodriguez was originally acquired by Boston as a minor leaguer from the Baltimore Orioles on July 31, 2014 in exchange for reliever Andrew Miller.