BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox would love to bring free agent fireballer Nathan Eovaldi back this offseason. But they will not be alone in that quest.
There are plenty of suitors lining up for the 28-year-old righty this offseason, with nearly a third of Major League Baseball looking to add Eovaldi to their pitching staff. Here are the teams that have already expressed interest in Eovaldi, according to The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo:
The early suitors are the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, Angels, Red Sox, White Sox, Blue Jays, Padres, and Giants. There’s likely to be more. Eovaldi would love to stay in Boston and the Red Sox will take their best shot.
That list will likely grow too, as other teams are expected to enter the mix when the Eovaldi sweepstakes really gets going at the start of the winter meetings in three weeks. That includes the New York Yankees, who are always in the market for another starter. And what makes Eovaldi more intriguing than free agent starters Patrick Corbin and Dallas Keuchel is the fact he will not require the team he signs with to surrender a draft pick.
There’s another interesting twist to Eovaldi’s free agency, too. WEEI’s Rob Bradford is also reporting that some teams are expressing interest in Eovaldi as a closer. He certainly showed he has some closing chops in the postseason, notching a pair of holds over four relief appearances during Boston’s World Series run. His most impressive outing was six innings of relief in Boston’s 18-inning loss to the Dodgers in Game 3 of the World Series, allowing just two runs (one earned) on three hits, throwing 97 pitches on only two days rest.
Eovaldi earned victories in both of his playoff starts for Boston, allowing just three runs over 13 innings while striking out nine. It was a strong finish to an overall solid bounce-back season for Eovaldi, who missed all of the 2017 season following his second Tommy John surgery. Acquired by Boston from Tampa Bay near the trade deadline, Eovaldi went 6-7 with a 3.81 ERA in 22 appearances (21 starts) during the 2018 season, striking out 101 batters over in 111 innings.
With a horde of teams already lining up to sign him, Eovaldi should have himself a nice new contract for the holiday season.