Blue Jays: Way Too Early 2021 Free Agent Targets
This next name should be a familiar one to Jays fans in Eduardo Rodriguez. Rodriguez, a left-handed pitcher for the Red Sox was acquired from Baltimore at the 2014 trade deadline in exchange for Andrew Miller. He debuted in 2015 and has been a reliable arm for the Sox, posting a 113 ERA+ across five seasons.
Rodriguez won’t blow you away with velocity, as his fastball sits right around 93 MPH, but he gets guys out by simply eliminating hard contact, finishing in the 96 percentile in exit velocity allowed back in 2019 according to StatCast.
His best season came back in 2019 where he went 19-6 with a 3.85 ERA and ended up finishing 6th in AL Cy Young voting. Unfortunately, Rodriguez was hit hard by Covid, as he was diagnosed with myocarditis, which is an inflammation of the heart caused by a viral infection, which in Rodriguez’s case was caused by Covid.
Rodriguez missed the entirety of the 2020 season and was at risk of never pitching again due to his condition. Thankfully, he’s fully recovered and looking like he will be able to start the 2021 season with the Sox.
At just 26 years old, it’s reasonable to assume that Rodriguez could continue to develop and improve his game over the next couple of seasons. Combining his age with his prior success in the AL East, Eduardo Rodriguez is definitely someone the Jays should be interested in if he hits the open market next winter.