This past offseason, the Detroit Tigers agreed to a 5-year $77 million deal with free agent pitcher Eduardo Rodriguez.
Now, after just a few months with his new team, the Tigers can’t reach him.
Just over three weeks ago, the team placed Rodriguez on the restricted list due to a “personal matter,” which one New York Post report described as a “marital issue.”
Wednesday, Tigers general manager Al Avila announced that the team has been trying to contact him to get updates, but haven’t heard back:
“We’ve reached out, but obviously he hasn’t reached out back, so we’re just kind of waiting it out,” Avila told reporters. “It is unusual, but we have no choice but to wait it out right now and see what develops as we move forward.”
“Unusual” is a dramatic understatement; it’s extremely rare for a player to disappear like this.
Recently, manager A.J. Hinch said that Rodriguez was at home, but did not provide any further information on his whereabouts or communication issues. Hinch explained that they want to give him space and would support him returning when he’s ready:
“We want him to be OK,” Hinch told reporters. “We want him to be in a good place, we want everything to settle around him. But we can’t really make any considerations until we know exactly what’s at hand. We’ll wait for him to open up when he wants.”
Of course, there may be serious issues at play that explain why the pitcher has avoided any communication in recent weeks. Despite the extended absence, hopefully there’s nothing dangerous or concerning taking place with Rodriguez.
But in the absence of more information, all the Tigers can do for now is wonder when they’ll hear from one of their most important starting pitchers.