BREAKING: Arizona Diamondbacks sign starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez

The Arizona Diamondbacks have made a huge splash, signing left-handed starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez to a four-year deal.
Sep 1, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA;  Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez (57)
Sep 1, 2023; Chicago, Illinois, USA; Detroit Tigers starting pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez (57) / Matt Marton-USA TODAY Sports

The Arizona Diamondbacks have found their big starting pitcher acquisition of the off-season, and made what has been one of the biggest moves of the Winter Meetings. The Diamondbacks will be signing left-handed starter Eduardo Rodriguez to a four-year deal at about $20 million a year. Jeff Passan from ESPN recently broke the news.

Rodriguez rebounded after an injury riddled 2022 season to pitch to a 3.30 ERA, 3.66 FIP, and 1.15 WHIP in 152.2 innings. Rodriguez struck out 23% of the batters he squared off against with a solid 7.7% walk rate. Rodriguez also only had a 0.88 HR/9 rate, the lowest single-season mark of his entire career thus far. However, do keep in mind a few things about Rodriguez’s performance, especially his HR/9 rate. 

The first is that he played in the spacious Comerica Park for half of his games. They have had the lowest home run park factor of any stadium the last three years. He also played in American League Central that had both the Kansas City Royals, who were 14th in the AL in home runs hit, and the Cleveland Guardians, who were behind the Royals at 15th.

Rodriguez’s 88.6 MPH exit velocity, 37% hard hit rate, and 7.5% barrel rate were all slightly above average, however. He is also going from a team that ranked 13th in defensive runs saved and 20th in outs above average, to the D-Backs who ranked top five in MLB in both defensive statistics. They had +46 DRS (4th most), and +31 OAA (2nd most). Chase Field has also been extremely home run friendly to pitchers. They have the 4th lowest home run park factor in baseball, and the third lowest in the National League. These are three factors that should play in his favor next season.

But the most important thing that Rodriguez brings is another quality arm to the starting rotation. A top three of Gallen/Kelly/Rodriguez is a very strong 1-3, and arguably one of, if not the best in the National League. All three could conceivably post an ERA of 3.50 or lower and continues the work he showed in the second half of last year and into the playoffs, you’re talking about a quality 1-4.