Why Did Eduardo Rodriguez Block Trade To Dodgers?

Originally published by DodgerBlue.com

The Los Angeles Dodgers were plenty active in the week leading up to the 2023 MLB trade deadline on August 1, but remained in the market for an impact starter and were linked to the likes of Mitch Keller, Eduardo Rodriguez and Justin Verlander.

How motivated the Pittsburgh Pirates were to trade their All-Star was unclear, in large part due to Keller being under team control through the 2025 season.

There was also some uncertainty with the Detroit Tigers, but they appeared willing to Rodriguez amid deep trade negotiations. A handful of hours before the 3 p.m. PT deadline, it was reported the Dodgers were on Rodriguez’s no-trade list of 10 teams.

What was thought to be a relatively minor footnote — like with Lance Lynn — wound up leaving the Dodgers empty handed in their search for a frontline starter.

Particularly when factoring in Verlander, who held a full no-trade clause, had already been sent to the Houston Astros around midday.

Lucas Giolito was traded to the Los Angeles Angels last week, and Dylan Cease remained with the Chicago White Sox.

Reason Eduardo Rodriguez blocked Dodgers trade

The first public report of Rodriguez declining to waive his limited no-trade clause came at 1:51 p.m. PT in a tweet from ESPN’s Jeff Passan.

Under the assumption Rodriguez’s decision was made around that relative time, the Dodgers were left with just over one hour to find a fallback plan. That never came to be, with their only addition being to acquire Ryan Yarbrough from the Kansas City Royals for Devin Mann and Derlin Figueroa.

Rodriguez, who started for the Tigers on Wednesday, had yet to publicly address blocking the trade as the saga unfolded. The sentiment shared by those who were involved in discussions was he did so in order to remain closer to his family in Miami.

Last season, Rodriguez was away from the Tigers and spent nearly two months on the restricted list in order to be with his family amid a reported marital issue.

The Tigers signed Rodriguez to a five-year, $77 million contract in November 2021. His deal includes an opt-out clause that can be exercised after the 2023 season.

Rodriguez is presumed to opt for free agency this winter, as a new contract likely would net him more than the remaining three years and $49 million that would come with opting in.

It’s also possible the Tigers and Rodriguez rework his current contract.

Andrew Friedman

Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman admitted being surprised by Rodriguez blocking the trade but noted he and the team were understanding.

“We didn’t expect it at all. We wouldn’t have known one way or the other. We thought having a lot of his ex-teammates, our place in the standings, we thought we would be very desirable,” Friedman began.

“But obviously for family reasons, we never got a chance to talk to Eduardo. But we talked to his agent numerous times, and we respect he had this right and exercised it. Obviously, we would’ve loved for him to join what we have going here, but it’s hard for us to argue with family reasons.”

Dave Roberts

Dodgers manager Dave Roberts offered a similar sentiment.

“Obviously, I don’t know what’s going on in his life, in his mind, his comfort level, but certainly on the surface, to have a chance to come to a team with guys he’s familiar with, on a team that’s playing for a championship, it’s surprising,” Roberts said.

“But again, I can’t speak too much if I don’t know all the information.”

Have you subscribed to the Dodger Blue YouTube channel? Be sure to ring the notification bell to watch player interviews, participate in shows and giveaways, and stay up to date on all Dodgers news and rumors!