Tigers' Free Agency Spending Just Getting Started

Former Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez recently signed with the Detroit Tigers for 5 years and $77 million.
Former Boston Red Sox starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez recently signed with the Detroit Tigers for 5 years and $77 million. / Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Tigers opened up the 2021-2022 MLB offseason at +8000 odds to win the World Series next year. While they won't be the favorites any time soon, it's also very likely that after the conclusion of this offseason, they won't be holding that kind of value at the sportsbooks either.

Detroit made it's first official hot stove splash signing this afternoon, signing former Boston Red Sox left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez to a new five-year contract. The deal is for $77 million guaranteed, with up to $80 million in incentives. The left-hander hit free agency at 28 years old and has an opt-out after the first two seasons in the Motor City, giving him the opportunity to get back on the open market again right around the age of 30.

Many were surprised to see Rodriguez ink this type of contract coming off his worst ERA season of his career, but overall since 2015, he's gone 64-39 in Boston with a 4.16 ERA in over 147 innings per season. Also, while the overall numbers in 2021 weren't his best, he still turned in the best strikeout percentage of his career last season and expects the Tigers' defense to be a major step ahead of Boston's next year.

Despite shelling out $77-$80 million already, the Tigers seem to just be getting started this offseason, particularly when it comes to their interest in bringing on a shortstop.

They've already been ruled to have interest in top free agent shortstop Carlos Correa, who's coming off one of his best years in Houston as the No. 2 ranked WAR player in baseball by Baseball-Reference. The 27-year old Correa played under Tigers manager A.J. Hinch for several years until 2019 when he was let go for his role in the "sign-stealing scandal."

I set futures odds for Correa's next destination back on November 11th here at BetSided, with the New York Yankees leading the way at +175 odds.

Correa and Dodgers shortstop Corey Seager could command as much as $300 million on the open market, with several other teams interested in their bat, positional durability and upside this year.

Despite the addition of Rodriguez on a five-year deal, Detroit, via MLB Trade Rumors, has also been linked to several other high upside free-agent pitchers like Jonathan Gray from the Rockies, as well as San Francisco veteran right-hander Anthony DeSclafani.

The Tigers' 77 wins in 2021 were the most they've had since the 2016 season when they won 86 games. The signing of Rodriguez is an indicator that they're willing to spend while their team considered themselves in a championship window.

With connections and rumors already out in full swing before the Winter Meetings are set to take place in December, the Tigers could be a squad looking to get out ahead of the rest of the pack this offseason and possibly challenge the Chicago White Sox for the top spot in the AL Central division.

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