The Boston Red Sox on Thursday evening officially announced that they had signed RHP Nathan Eovaldi to a four-year contract.
Per Yahoo Sports’ Jeff Passan, Eovaldi’s deal is worth a grand total of $68 million and keeps him under team control through the 2022 season. The specific details have yet to be released, but that comes out to an AAV of $17 million per year for the next four years.
Entering his age 29 season in 2019, the right-hander joined Boston when he was acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays in late July in exchange for left-handed pitching prospect Jalen Beeks.
In 12 regular season appearances (11 starts) with the Red Sox, Eovaldi went 3-3 with a 3.33 ERA and 48 strikeouts over 54 innings pitched before reaching his first ever postseason, where the Houston native proceeded to shine to the tune of a 1.61 ERA and .185 BAA over the course of 22.1 frames and six total appearances (two starts) in October.
Without a doubt, Eovaldi benefited from those stellar postseason numbers and was rewarded with a nice pay-day from the team that traded for him on Tuesday.
Like all hefty contracts, risk is certainly a factor. The ACES client has already had Tommy John surgery twice, once when he was a junior in high school and the second occurrence coming when he was with the New York Yankees in 2016.
But, other factors, such as an average four-seam fastball velocity of 97.2 MPH in 2018 and a 1.93 career ERA in 23.1 career innings pitched against the Yankees, more than likely outweigh that risk.
Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski expressed interest in a reunion with Eovaldi at the premier of the team’s World Series film this past Monday, and less than 72 hours later, a deal is done.
As for what’s next, well, according to @RedSoxStats and @RedSoxPayroll, “This deal pushes the projected payroll to about $243 million [for 2019].”
Joe Kelly is a key free agent who remains unsigned and the probable departure of Craig Kimbrel leaves the club with another open spot in the bullpen.
If someone like Kelly or Zach Britton or David Robertson were to sign with Boston, the team would need to make space on their 40-man roster for that to happen, as the Eovaldi deal pushes the club’s roster size to exactly 40.
Winter Meetings start in Las Vegas this coming Sunday, so if nothing happens before then, expect the rumors to start swirling again early next week.
For now, I leave you with some Nathan “Nasty Nate” Eovaldi highlights. Welcome back to Boston.