Less than 24 hours after the New York Yankees acquired star closer Zach Britton in a four-player deal with the Baltimore Orioles, the Red Sox countered with a trade of their own, as the team acquired Nathan Eovaldi from the Tampa Bay Rays for pitching prospect Jalen Beeks.
Similar to Britton, Eovaldi, 28, is set to hit free agency this offseason. In the mean time, he will provide the Red Sox with a hard-throwing right-hander in the starting rotation.
In 10 starts with the Rays this season, Eovaldi owns a 4.26 ERA and 0.98 WHIP in 57 innings pitched.
You may recall that back in May, when Eovaldi made his season debut against the Oakland Athletics, he tossed six no-hit scoreless innings in his first start since August 10th, 2016 when he was with the New York Yankees.
According to BrooksBaseball.net, Eovaldi, a native of Houston, Texas, relies heavily on his four-seam fastball, as he goes to it nearly 43% of the time he is on the mound. That four-seamer can also reach anywhere from 97 to 100 MPH.
In exchange for Eovaldi, Jalen Beeks, the sixth best prospect in Boston’s system, per SoxProspects.com, has been traded to the Rays. Beeks, a lefty, made two appearances for the Red Sox this season, one came in a start and the other in relief.
Although the sample size is small, I think it’s fair to say that Beeks, 25, was not going to contribute to this team this season. With the current window the Red Sox have, it’s understandable why they would want to go all in for 2018.
All and all, giving up one pitcher who may or may not help your team in the future for a pitcher who should contribute right away is a no-brainer in my mind. Eovaldi gives the Red Sox a right-handed starting option besides Rick Porcello. With the uncertainties guys like Drew Pomeranz, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Steven Wright have, I’m going to go ahead and say I like this move.
The MLB trade deadline is less than a week away. Some big names like Britton, Brad Hand, and now Eovaldi are already off the market.
Next up for the Red Sox before July 31st hits should be a reliever of some sorts on an expiring contract that will not cost the team what’s left of its farm system. Someone like Addison Reed or Brad Ziegler, who Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox acquired near the deadline the past two seasons would work.