4 alternative free agent targets for the Phillies with Sonny Gray off the market

WBC Team Japan starting pitcher Shōta Imanaga
WBC Team Japan starting pitcher Shōta Imanaga / Eric Espada/GettyImages
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Eduardo Rodriguez

At the top of mid-tier starting pitching options is Eduardo Rodriguez, who surprised no one when he opted out of his contract with the Tigers just about as soon as he could, leaving three years and $49 million behind in Detroit. Ever since, speculation surrounding where he'll go next has moved from coast to coast, from Boston to Los Angeles with some stops in between, but he's yet to make a call on his next contract. Its length and price will rival Shōta Imanaga's — might even rival Sonny Gray's — after Rodriguez performed for his best year since 2019, when he placed sixth in Cy Young voting.

He pitched to a 3.30 ERA this year and a 3.58 ERA over two years with the Tigers in the midst of some personal woes and after blocking a trade to the Dodgers. He improved his K/9, BB/9, and HR/9 rates from 2022 and ended the season as the Tigers second most valuable player in fWAR after Tarik Skubal. It's possible that his stint on the Tigers' restricted list last year and his unwillingness to jump into the Dodgers' pennant race will not be points in his favor, but his consistent numbers and his relative youth should still be able to net him a hefty contract. If it were with the Phillies, he could slot in at the three or four spot behind Aaron Nola and Zack Wheeler easily.

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