BOSTON (CBS) — The Red Sox and Astros may find themselves battling each other again this offseason.

According to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand, the ALCS participants are the leading contenders for Boston free agent righty Nathan Eovaldi.

Eovaldi came up big for the World Series champion Red Sox in 2018 after being acquired from Tampa Bay around the trade deadline, going 3-3 with a 3.33 ERA during the regular season. But he really made a name for himself during his workhorse performance throughout the postseason, going 2-1 with a 1.61 ERA in six appearances during Boston’s title run.

The 28-year-old made just two starts in the playoffs, but was fantastic in both. He tossed seven innings of one-run ball against the Yankees in Game 3 of the ALDS, and then held the Astros to two runs over six innings in Game 3 of the ALCS. Two nights later he came out of the bullpen for 1.1 innings, earning a hold in Boston’s series-clinching victory.

You can see why the Astros are fans of Eovaldi, who is also a Houston native.

After dispatching Houston, Eovaldi became a key part to the Boston pen, giving the Sox a scoreless inning in both Games 1 and 2 of the World Series against the Dodgers. He became a household name when the series shifted to Los Angeles, coming on for six innings of relief in the epic 18-inning Game 3. He was tabbed with the loss when he surrendered a walk-off homer to Max Muncy, but no one considered Eovaldi a loser after he fired 97 pitches in relief on just one day’s rest.

It’s that postseason performance that will likely get Eovaldi a big money deal this winter. The Red Sox would love to have him back, but now they face some fierce competition from one of their biggest foes in the American League.

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