So far, so good. E-Rod is a pitcher I hoped the Tigers would take a look at. I liked him in Boston. Last season, despite a subpar ERA, his advanced numbers were rock solid, with a great FIP and many strikeouts. He will be going from the AL East, a division filled with hitter-friendly parks, to the AL Central, which will feature a lot of spacious ballparks, Comerica being one of the biggest of the bunch. I'm not a massive fan of the length of the deal, though if he pitches well, he can opt-out after two years, so he may not be in Detroit for very long.
E-Rod graded out to be one of the unluckiest pitchers in baseball last year. When you look at the Baseball Savant pitch date, it reflects that of a well-above-average starter. He was in the 70th percentile or above an average exit velocity, hard-hit rate, xwOBA, xERA, and K-rate. He has a lot of postseason experience, winning a world championship with the Red Sox in 2018. And unlike some other previous Detroit signings, mainly one whose name rhymes with Gordan Dimmerman, last year's pitch data shows that Eduardo Rodriguez has not lost a step. To put it simply, the Tigers finally signed a starting pitcher who is still in his prime. And while I'm not a fan of the 5 year contract, even if he flames out, it's not the kind of deal that can cripple an organization. He'll be good.
As for what this means going forward, expectations are elevating. The Tigers are finally ready to dip their toes in the pond, but the fans are prepared for them to jump into the pond headfirst, and I don't blame them. So far, they are 2 for 2 in this offseason. I liked the Tucker Barnhart trade. I think he'll be an utterly serviceable catcher. And I'm a fan of the Eduardo Rodriguez deal, but the bigger prizes lie ahead. Sign Correa.