It has been three weeks since the Detroit Tigers placed prized free agent pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez on the restricted list. The team apparently has had no communication with him since.
Tigers general manager Al Avila told reporters that Rodriguez, who signed a five-year, $77 million contract last offseason, has effectively ghosted the team since hitting the restricted list, reportedly over a marital issue.
From MLB.com's Jason Beck:
"We’ve reached out, but obviously he hasn’t reached out back, so we’re just kind of waiting it out. It is unusual, but we have no choice but to wait it out right now and see what develops as we move forward."
In his first season with the Tigers, Rodriguez has posted a 4.38 ERA, a 1.33 WHIP and 34 strikeouts in 39 innings across eight starts. He has not played since hitting the injured list with a rib cage injury on May 18, and was nearing a return after a rehab assignment before he was sidelined indefinitely on June 13.
For a Tigers team that has struggled to exit the losing stage of its rebuild, losing a $15.4 million-per-year pitcher isn't what it needed. Avila declined to get into the possibility of voiding Rodriguez's contract, per Beck:
"I’m not going to get into that at this point, because obviously that’s a private situation on his part. I won’t get into those legalities."
Per ESPN, Tigers manager A.J. Hinch told reporters on Friday that Rodriguez remains at home and the team was waiting for communication from his camp.
Rodriguez joined the Tigers last offseason as one of the team's big free agent acquisitions, the other being shortstop Javier Baez, who signed a six-year, $140 million contract. Rodriguez spent the first seven years of his career with the Boston Red Sox. He missed the 2020 season due to health issues related to COVID-19, including myocarditis.