Red Sox

Why Eduardo Rodriguez never came close to re-signing with the Red Sox

"Do you prefer $18 million or $77 million?"

Eduardo Rodriguez
Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez during the first inning of a baseball game against the Tampa Bay Rays. AP Photo/Chris O'Meara, File

Eduardo Rodriguez never really came close to re-signing with the Red Sox after the Tigers made him a lucrative five-year offer during free agency.

Rodriguez spoke to the media at his introductory press conference on Monday. He noted the difference between the qualifying offer offered by the Red Sox vs. the number offered by the Tigers.

“I’m going to be honest with you,” Rodriguez told a reporter. “Do you prefer $18 [million] or $77 [million]?”

Rodriguez took a small annual discount (his deal will pay roughly $15.5 million per year) for a much higher guaranteed total. The Red Sox reportedly offered him a multi-year deal, but Chaim Bloom suggested the team had little interest in matching the Tigers on Rodriguez’s long-term deal.

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“We were certainly fighting our emotions on that the whole way because of how highly we think of him and how much we enjoyed having him here,” Bloom said. “Our interest in having him back here was genuine, but we also recognized that the interest on the market was really, really strong. It took things to a point that took him away from us.”

Rodriguez said conversations with the Red Sox never really advanced.

“I [didn’t] talk to them about how many years and all that,” Rodriguez said. “I know they wanted me back there, but it’s time for me to move and start the new part of my life.”

Rodriguez said he was excited to pitch against the Red Sox, including close friends Xander Bogaerts, Rafael Devers, and Christian Vázquez.

“I know they feel happy for me and for what I accomplished now,” Rodriguez said. “I know they want the best for me and I still want the best for them, to go out there and ball. And I’ll strike them out all the times I face them.”

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