Should Detroit trade Eduardo Rodriguez now or later?

Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez. (Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports)
Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez. (Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports) /

For Detroit Tigers fans, the question is a tough one. Trade Eduardo Rodriguez for the now or the future?

The Detroit Tigers took their third series in a row behind another dominate start by Eduardo Rodriguez. He went seven innings, allowing just four hits and struck out eight, as he kept the Guardians off-balance all day.

It marked the second time this season that Rodriguez shutout Cleveland. Over his last four starts, he has allowed just one earned run over 28.2 innings of work. He is putting up Cy Young Award type of numbers in a season that coincides with his ability to opt-out of his five-year, $77 million dollar he signed last off-season.

As for where the Tigers are in the standings, they are in second place in a bad AL Central, two games back of the Twins. So let’s state the case for Rodriguez to stay in Detroit.

Detroit Tigers fans want the team to matter again

The Tigers, after a slow start to the season, come into play on Friday at home against Seattle 6-2 in May. Their young group of players like Riley Greene and Spencer Torkelson have been hitting the ball as of late, fulfilling what the fans expected with their high draft status.

The trade for Zach McKinstry, who hit under .100 in spring training with the Cubs, has been a welcomed surprise. Pitching coach Chris Fetter and manager A.J. Hinch have been able to rebuild a bullpen after trading Joe Jimenez and Gregory Soto in the off-season. Right-handers Jason Foley and Alex Lange continue to evolve as one of the better combos in the AL.

The Al Avila era, which was nothing but losing in his tenure, seems to become more and more of a distant memory. The Tigers are exhibiting signs of a team who is more patience at the plate and falling into the mindset that President of Baseball Operations Scott Harris wants, which is control the strike zone.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel and with Rodriguez, fans are expecting a win whenever he takes the mound. With a few bounces their way and Baez also playing in an opt-out contract, they could content for a division crown.

Reality sits in

Detroit should trade him while his value peaks. Speculation suggests the Cardinals, boasting an excess of certain positional players Detroit needs, particularly outfielders, could be a good fit.

St. Louis neglected its rotation during the offseason to the dismay of fans. Now, they’re feeling the impact; the rotation’s ERA sits at 5.26. Detroit, however, would expect more than an ailing Tyler O’Neill or Juan Yepez.

Detroit, albeit with prospects like Parker Meadows, Andre Lipcius, and Justyn-Henry Malloy on the cusp of debuting, lacks depth. Colt Keith is a year out, steadily ascending through the Tigers’ ranks. Roberto Campos, one of Detroit’s most expensive international signings, is impressing in High-A, though still some distance from the majors.

To be blunt, Detroit is not yet equipped to contend and needs more assets. Lefty Tarik Skubal, who performed solidly before a last-season injury, is expected to resume bullpen work soon. Depending on his progress, there’s no urgency for Detroit to deal Rodriguez.

dark. Next. 1 trade every MLB team would like to have back