“Why the Detroit Tigers Should Not Trade Eduardo Rodríguez” by WSN guest writer, Caleb Czarnik
The Tigers have been in the rebuilding process for what seems to be about a decade now. Year after year the team has pieces to build around, yet trades them for prospects to look towards the future. Although, some players were destined to be traded at their peak, Verlander, J.D Martinez and Justin Upton for example. However, when is this pattern going to stop?
Coming off the series with Seattle, the Tigers find themselves three games below .500 and have been playing pretty good baseball. Eduardo Rodríguez has been the Tigers’ ace during the season and has the second lowest ERA in the MLB. And of course, all I see is fans pleading to the Tigers to trade the big lefty. But why? Why not end this cycle of trading players that are playing well for prospects that might not pan out.
For those three players I just named, Upton, Martinez and Verlander, the Tigers received eight prospects in return. Only ONE has seen significant time with the major league club, Jake Rogers. So why take the risk on trading E-Rod, who is having a career year thus far, for prospects that might not turn out? We want competitive baseball.
How long are we going to give this organization the “we’re a young team” card and continue to trade our good players and lose? Yeah, we’re young, but why trade our ace, and a pitcher that can put us in the AL Central race? I just don’t get the logic. It happens almost every year and I’m tired of the pattern.
It’s Time to Turn the Tide, Scott Harris
The AL Central has never been weaker than it is now. As of May 16th, the combined record of the five clubs is 86-120. The Detroit Tigers find themselves only three games back of first place and have the opportunity in these next coming weeks to put themselves in first place. This is the PERFECT time to not only keep our good veterans around, but maybe to add some to the clubhouse. Yes, you heard that correctly, depending on where the Tigers find themselves at the deadline, why not become buyers. Put yourself ahead of the division, rather than being bad alongside them.
Even if the Tigers start to slump in these next few months, I still don’t see a scenario where trading E-Rod would be a good move. If we keep him around for next year, we start the season with an ace that we know we can depend on. Pairing him with a healthy Skubal, Mize, Manning and maybe another proven starter, that’s a pretty good rotation with Rodríguez at the forefront.
E-Rod’s Future in Detroit
Rodríguez signed a 5 year/$77 million deal last year, with an opt out after this year. If E-Rod opts out of the deal, which is likely if he continues to pitch at a Cy Young level, you might just have to pay the man. We can’t let another star like this just walk. This team finally found an ace and they must do everything in their power to keep him around. But hey, there is a chance he may not believe he will get more than $18 million per year in the open market after a bad 2022 season, and he may just opt back in to his deal and stay with the Tigers, which would be ideal.
As I stated, when this rotation gets healthy, it could be very good. Rodríguez is the perfect ace for this team, he has playoff experience and is a veteran presence for these young pitchers. We haven’t had a pitcher since Scherzer or Verlander that when they step on the mound, you know your team has the upper hand. I get that feeling with Rodríguez. Outing after outing this year he has put us in the best position to win, and winning is all it’s about, right? Hopefully the front office thinks the same, rather than Al Avila (whose name should be treated like Voldemort’s in this city) who traded our veterans the minute they started to produce for the ball club. If I see Rodríguez toeing the rubber for the Dodgers in game one of the NLDS this October, I’m going to lose my mind.
Throw all your chips on the table, Detroit Tigers. Go all in. Keep E-Rod around to be our ace and go win some games for the city. We need baseball back here in the D.
Article written by Woodward Sports guest writer, Caleb Czarnik
Photo Credit: © Lon Horwedel – USA TODAY Sports
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