Boston Red Sox rumors: 3 big decisions awaiting team in offseason

Xander Bogaerts #2 and Rafael Devers #11 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
Xander Bogaerts #2 and Rafael Devers #11 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /
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Boston Red Sox
Eduardo Rodriguez #57 of the Boston Red Sox (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

Boston Red Sox big decision No. 3: Should Eduardo Rodriguez be re-signed?

Eduardo Rodriguez probably didn’t have the season he envisioned in 2021. After missing the 2020 season with myocarditis, Rodriguez made a triumphant return to the mound this season. The problem was that for the most part, Rodriguez was strikingly inconsistent, and given that he is set for free agency this offseason, he may have just lost a lot of money.

The last time we saw Rodriguez pitching before this season was 2019, when he posted a 19-6 record with a 3.81 ERA and 213 strikeouts, which earned him sixth place in the American League Cy Young race. In a season where there wasn’t much going right for Boston’s pitching staff, Rodriguez was a bright spot.

Things weren’t nearly as smooth for E-Rod this season. His ERA increased by nearly a run (4.71) and he struggled to consistently get guys out. Rodriguez would occasionally show flashes of his old self throughout the season, but then follow that up with a gross outing that would halt his momentum.

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So far, the front office has remained noncommittal on whether or not they would extend a qualifying offer to Rodriguez, which would come in at $18 million. The bet here is they don’t, and if they do try to come to an agreement with Rodriguez, it will be for a much lower price. Other teams probably aren’t going to offer Rodriguez $18 million a year, so it makes no sense for the Sox to do so.

The question then becomes whether or not the team even wants to re-sign Rodriguez. He’s been a valued member of the organization for the past seven years, but it may be time to move on. He struggled pretty badly this season, and the starting pitcher market could end up being quite robust, with guys like Kevin Gausman, Robbie Ray, and Noah Syndergaard potentially being available.

Boston’s starting pitching overperformed this season, but they were still a key weakness for the team down the stretch. They figure to have Chris Sale and Nathan Eovaldi leading the way next season, but afterwards there are a lot of question marks.

Figuring out whether Rodriguez fits into the picture is one of the key decisions that needs to be made this offseason. Ultimately, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Sox move on from E-Rod here, but you never know what could happen.