Two painful events in the Dodgers' recent history met and shook hands on a massive contract on the last night of Winter Meetings: Eduardo Rodriguez is going to the Arizona Diamondbacks. After some ado about meeting with teams in Nashville and narrowing down to two unknown options, Rodriguez chose the NL West team that swept the Dodgers out of the playoffs this year.
Rodriguez, of course, also spurned LA at the trade deadline last year, when he invoked his no-trade clause to block what seemed like a done deal between the Tigers and Dodgers. His reasoning was vague and had nothing to do with the game — his family liked Detroit; he didn't want to uproot them — and a still-high-quality pitcher refused to move to a winning team and help them through the pennant race.
Then, after opting out of his contract with the Tigers earlier this offseason, Rodriguez declared that he had no geographic preference for where he would end up despite ruining a trade in August seemingly because of geography. Which leads us to now: late last night, Rodriguez and the Diamondbacks, who swept the Dodgers 3-0 in the NLDS this year in a ridiculous upset, agreed to a four year, $80 million contract, rubbing salt into two of LA's wounds.
Dodgers News: Eduardo Rodriguez signs with Dodgers' division rival
The Dodgers were never seriously connected to Rodriguez's free agency after he left Detroit. Maybe there were still hurt feelings over the blocked trade. Maybe E-Rod did just hate LA, as some rumors suggested. Regardless, the Dodgers never seemed in on him as a starting pitcher they needed to gun after again.
In Arizona, Rodriguez will join a rotation with Zac Gallen, Merrill Kelly, and postseason standout Brandon Pfaadt, the three starting pitchers who took the Dodgers down 1-2-3 in the NLDS.
To say that the Dodgers have rarely ever had to concern themselves with the Diamondbacks, much less a real threat from Arizona to challenge them for NL West supremacy, might be a little hyperbolic but is also kind of true. While this year's Arizona team won about 20 fewer games than the Dodgers did in the regular season, they also brushed the Dodgers aside in the playoffs and breezed right by them, then almost won the whole thing.
This Rodriguez signing will have already infuriated Dodgers fans, but hopefully it'll light a fire under the seat of the front office's pants and motivate them to go out and find the starting pitching that they're lacking. Yoshinobu Yamamoto, please come to Los Angeles.