For a team mostly devoid of good news in 2020, the Red Sox reportedly got some on Tuesday, avoiding salary arbitration with left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez.
According to USA TODAY's Bob Nightengale, it's a one-year contract worth $8.3 million -- the same contract Rodriguez had this year, when he missed the entire season due to myocarditis following a bout with COVID-19.
With Chris Sale not expected back until midseason following Tommy John surgery, Rodriguez figures to open the 2021 campaign as the Red Sox ace on the heels of a breakout 2019, when he finished sixth in Cy Young voting after going 19-6 with a 3.81 ERA and 213 strikeouts in 34 starts.
E-Rod will certainly be motivated in 2021, which marks his final season before becoming an unrestricted free agent, though he recently stated his desire to remain in Boston.
“I want to stay in Boston as long as my career goes,” he told Alex Speier of the Boston Globe. “I want to play in Boston forever. That’s where I got to the big leagues. That’s where I got an opportunity. That’s my family. That’s a ballpark where I really love to pitch — the history, everything. We’ll see what goes on there, see where we’re at. Hopefully they want to do it. I want to do it.”
Though Rodriguez wasn't cleared to begin physical activity until late September, he has proclaimed he'll be 100 percent by the start of next season, desperately needed good news for a Red Sox rotation that racked up a 5.34 ERA in 2020, the third-worst mark in the AL.