There doesn’t appear to be any groundbreaking agreement, but there are hints that the door might be opening when it comes to extension talks for Eduardo Rodriguez.
Appearing on OMF Wednesday afternoon, Chaim Bloom would only talk in hypotheticals when asked about how complicated zeroing in on a new contract for Rodriguez — who is eligible for free agency after the 2021 season. But even without specifically identifying the player, the Red Sox Chief Baseball Officer did offer some clues in terms of how things might unfold.
“I don’t like to get into detail on those possibilities with him or any player, but hypothetically, obviously it makes things a little more complicated from that front,” said Bloom when asked about how Rodriguez’s lost 2020 — due to myocarditis — might make an evaluation regarding a long-term commitment a bit more challenging.
“Again, this can be true about anybody, when you have a mutual desire to do something it gives you a better chance to at least have a good conversation. Sometimes these things line up. Sometimes they don’t. Sometimes the circumstances can just make it tougher. But I do believe if there is desire, you at least have a chance. Again, all these extensions that happen you see throughout the game are some sort of sharing of risks between the team and the player. And usually in the situation of the player, he wants to continue to be where he’s at. Everybody is going to make their own decisions. We’re kind of sharing a risk as appropriate. Just because you don’t line up doesn’t mean there wasn’t a desire to get it done. It just may change from player to player and situation to situation.”
What we do know is that the “desire” of which Bloom speaks in regards to remaining with the Red Sox beyond next season is there from Rodriguez’s standpoint. It’s a reality the lefty reiterated when recently speaking with Alex Speier of the Boston Globe.
“I want to stay in Boston as long as my career goes,” Rodriguez said. “I want to play in Boston forever. That’s where I got to the big leagues. That’s where I got an opportunity. That’s my family. That’s a ballpark where I really love to pitch — the history, everything.
“We’ll see what goes on there, see where we’re at. Hopefully they want to do it. I want to do it.”
Rodriguez, who has just started throwing a baseball as the latest step in his recovery from the heart condition, would be considered one of the top free agent pitchers on the market if he could duplicate his 2019 season in which he went 19-6 with a 3.81 ERA in 203 1/3 innings.