This deal means Rodriguez will return to the National League West, where he spent most of the prior three seasons with the Giants organization. The Giants designated Rodriguez for assignment in August, and the Tigers claimed him, but he didn’t throw a pitch for Detroit.
Rodriguez, the son of legendary catcher Ivan Rodriguez, entered the pro ranks as a sixth-round pick of the Twins in 2011 but didn’t crack the majors until 2018 with the Giants. He came out of nowhere that year to perform like one of the league’s best rookies, throwing 118 1/3 innings of 2.81 ERA/3.74 FIP ball with 6.77 K/9 and 2.74 BB/9.
Considering the results Rodriguez posted in his first season, the Giants probably thought they had a long-term piece for their rotation. But the 28-year-old Rodriguez wasn’t able to follow that up from 2019-20. Including just four innings in ’20, Rodriguez logged an ugly 5.94 ERA/5.89 FIP and 6.38 K/9 against 3.41 BB/9 in 103 frames during the previous two years. For Colorado, though, there isn’t any real harm in taking a chance on Rodriguez and hoping he returns to rookie form.