Despite the possibility — or outright likelihood — that the team will lose him for nothing, many Tigers fans have scoffed in recent weeks at the notion that Detroit could deal ace Eduardo Rodriguez at this season's MLB trade deadline.

Now, thanks, ironically, to some bad news, those fans may get their way.

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The Tigers on Tuesday placed Rodriguez on the 15-day Injured List for an issue with his dominant hand. Chris McCosky, Tigers beat writer for The Detroit News, reported the left-hander's injury is a "ruptured A4 pulley of his left index finger," which could cost him some serious time.

Generally speaking, even the lowest-grade rupture has a minimum recovery time of six weeks. For Grade-3 and Grade-4 ruptures, recovery time can take up to eight weeks. The A4 pulley is located on the palm side of the finger, between the first and second knuckles.
Hinch said Rodriguez felt the pain in his finger late in his six-inning start against the White Sox on Sunday.

Six weeks! Let me do the math for you. That means the earliest Rodriguez could return is in mid-July. If his injury lingers a couple of weeks longer, it means he wouldn't be back until early August.

That timing is extremely problematic given that the MLB trade deadline is Aug. 1.

Rodriguez has been one of the American League's best starting pitchers this season. His 2.13 ERA is third-best in the AL, his .975 WHIP is fifth-best, and his 2.5 WAR is second among AL pitchers. Over the last eight weeks, Rodriguez's ERA has been below 2, and he's holding opposing batters to less than a .215 average.

His dominant numbers have earned him a ton of attention as perhaps the premier starting pitcher on this year's trade-deadline market. The 30-year-old left-hander can opt out of his contract after this season. There are three years and $49 million left on the deal, but Rodriguez and his representation will likely figure they can get more than double that average annual value on the open market.

Despite most likely being a rental, several teams were expected to bid for Rodriguez's services. Starting pitching is always at a premium come trade-deadline season. Rodriguez being a left-hander only makes him more attractive to buyers.

An injury that keeps him from making consistent starts until the back half of July or later, though, does the opposite.

4 Reasons Why Detroit Tigers Should Trade Eduardo Rodriguez

Eduardo Rodriguez has been one of the best starting pitchers in baseball in 2023. He signed a five-year, $77 million contract with the Tigers last year, but there's a player opt-out after this season. That means that Rodriguez stands to cash in mightily if he continues to perform at this level. It also means that Detroit should trade him.

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