One day after the Dodgers reached agreement with the Tigers to trade for starter Eduardo Rodriguez, only to have the left-hander exercise his no-trade clause, Rodriguez allowed two runs in six innings and struck out five to beat the Pirates.
Then he spoke with reporters on the Dodgers deal that wasn’t, though Rodriguez didn’t delve into specifics. From Jason Beck at MLB.com:
“It’s nothing against the Dodgers or the West Coast or whatever,” he said. “It’s just about the details to go out there and where my family is. My future is where they’re happy and I’m happy, and that’s why I decided to stay here. It has nothing to do with the Dodgers.”
Both the Tigers and Dodgers tried to meet certain contractual demands from Rodriguez in the process of negotiating the trade and had reason to believe Rodriguez would waive his limited no-trade clause in pursuit of a World Series championship.
In the final hour, Rodriguez voided the Tigers’ trade with the Dodgers.
“I’m not going to share exactly the conversations revealed to me,” Tigers president of baseball operations Scott Harris said Tuesday. “I’m not going to share exactly what we said. Just know that we were talking throughout about possible destinations, and it didn’t work out in the end. I have to leave it at that.”
“We didn’t expect it at all. We thought having a lot of his ex-teammates, guys he played with, and our place in the standings, would be very desirable,” Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said Tuesday. “We respect his that he has his right and he exercised it. Obviously we would have loved to have him join what we have going here, but it’s hard for us to argue with family reasons.”
In addition to Mookie Betts, J.D. Martinez, Joe Kelly, and Ryan Brasier having played with Rodriguez on the Red Sox, David Peralta played with the pitcher during the World Baseball Classic for Venezuela in March.
“I sent a couple texts,” Peralta said, per Jack Harris of the Los Angeles Times. “But I’m pretty sure he was going through a lot of crazy stuff. … We wanted him. But I respect his decision.”
Betts and Martinez were among the Dodgers who were surprised Rodriguez exercised the no-trade clause. Betts, per Fabian Ardaya at The Athletic, added, “Even if he said, ‘I just don’t want to become a Dodger,’ that’s fine with me. As long as he’s happy, he’s good, he’s feeling good. That’s all I care about.”
Rodriguez’s agent, Gene Mato, released a statement on Twitter about the deal falling through.
“As for the Dodgers in particular, once I was granted permission to speak with them regarding the trade,” Mato wrote, “we did our best to come up with a way to make it happen where everyone was comfortable with the outcome. Unfortunately, we just ran out of time.”
Statement from Mato Sports Management pic.twitter.com/FoClZJPnh7— gene mato (@genemato) August 3, 2023
J.D. Martinez sat out again on Wednesday and will go through pregame workouts in hopes of returning Thursday. The injury itself is quite vague, with Martinez experiencing tightness in his hamstring and groin, which is also related to the back tightness that cost him 15 days earlier in the season.
“Nobody knows, including myself,” Martinez said when asked before Wednesday night’s game against Oakland if he knew exactly what his injury is. “It’s weird because it tightens up on me, and then I can’t even walk, and all of a sudden, a day later, I feel perfectly fine.
“The same thing happened in Texas right before the game, boom. We’re trying to figure out what’s causing it, what’s triggering it. The MRIs look good, so I think it might be some kind of fatigue or something.”
Dating back to July 23 in Texas, Martinez has effectively missed five of the Dodgers’ last nine games. That counts Sunday against the Reds, when Martinez started at designated hitter but never actually batted, getting pinch-hit for in the second inning.