MLB Rumors: Shohei Ohtani dark horses, Tigers E-Rod replacement, Yankees reunions

  • Are the Braves or Blue Jays a fit for Shohei Ohtani?
  • The Tigers have a replacement lined up for Eduardo Rodriguez
  • The Yankees are pursuing reunions with Jordan Montgomery and more

Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Angels
Oakland Athletics v Los Angeles Angels / Ronald Martinez/GettyImages
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MLB Rumors: Detroit Tigers line up Eduardo Rodriguez replacement

The Tigers are unlikely to re-sign Eduardo Rodriguez despite his affinity for the Motor City. E-Rod opted out of his contract, making him a free agent in the first place. The Tigers ace had an outstanding season, and thus will receive a far larger contract than Scott Harris is willing to give. This is why Harris tried to trade Rodriguez to the Los Angeles Dodgers at the deadline, only to have that deal nixed by E-Rod.

The Tigers have pitching prospects in their system, as well as the likes of Casey Mize, Matt Manning and Tarik Skubal who could step into Rodriguez's shoes. However, a veteran starter Detroit could rely on is an important get for Harris this offseason. Per Jon Morosi, the Tigers are interested in Twins free agent Kenta Maeda, who could eat those innings and be featured near the top of Detroit's rotation.

Maeda was outstanding in the shortened 2020 COVID-19 season, finishing second place in AL Cy Young voting. Since then, he has struggled to stay healthy, and last year had an ERA over four with Minnesota.

If the Tigers could sign the veteran to a short-term deal, then perhaps he's worth the gamble. Should the Tigers struggle Maeda would serve as a rental they could ship off at the trade deadline. The pairing makes more sense than some might think on paper.