Dodgers Rumors: Eduardo Rodriguez Sought Contract Extension To Approve Trade

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Although the Los Angeles Dodgers were among the top teams vying for a Justin Verlander trade before the New York Mets sent him to the Houston Astros, their focus ultimately appeared to fall on Detroit Tigers ace Eduardo Rodriguez as the deadline approached Tuesday afternoon.

The 30-year-old was in a bit of a unique situation as it initially was unclear if the Tigers would be willing to trade him, and he was perceived in some part to be potentially be a rental because of holding an opt-out clause that could be exercised after the 2023 season.

Further complicating matters was Rodriguez holding a 10-team no-trade clause that included the Dodgers. Rodriguez wound up blocking a trade to the Dodgers, but not before he and agent Gene Mato first sought compensation in exchange for approving the deal, per Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic:

However, according to team sources briefed on the discussions, Rodriguez and Mato asked for financial and contractual enhancements for the pitcher to join the Dodgers, one of 10 teams to which he is contractually permitted to block a trade. When those enhancements were not granted, he invoked his no-trade protection.

While Rodriguez has three years and $49 million remaining on his contract, Mato looked to get a fourth season and additional $20 million added:

Mato declined comment when asked about one of the enhancements sources said he proposed — an additional year on Rodriguez’s contract at $20 million if he declined to opt out.

At the time Rodriguez blocked the Dodgers’ trade, it said to be due to family reasons. Last year, Rodriguez spent two months on the restricted list while tending to a reported marital matter.

Rodriguez fell out of contact with the Tigers for a stretch of that time, which was of concern for the team as they were a handful of months removed from signing him to a five-year, $77 million contract.

In his first public comments after vetoing the trade, Rodriguez said it was not specifically tied to the Dodgers and his family merely was more comfortable remaining in Detroit.

Eduardo Rodriguez ignored Dodgers

As the Dodgers were pursuing a trade for Rodriguez, Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez and David Peralta were among those to reach out to him. Betts and Martinez won the 2018 World Series with Rodriguez, and Peralta played alongside him for Team Venezuela in the 2023 World Baseball Classic.

“Absolute crickets,” Martinez said of the response he received from Rodriguez. “Everybody got that.”

Rodriguez did send a text message to Betts on Wednesday after the deadline passed.

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