The Yankees may turn their attention to Red Sox free agent Nathan Eovaldi if they are unable to sign left-hander Carlos Rodon, according to The New York Post’s Jon Heyman.
As the top remaining free agent starter on the market, Rodon is reportedly seeking a deal of seven-plus years for at least $30 million per year. The Yankees have already made Rodon an initial offer, but there is apparently a sizable gap between what the 30-year-old southpaw wants and what New York is willing to give him.
“Rodon remains the Yankees’ top priority despite the gap, and the sides are expected to work on potential compromises over the next few days,” Heyman wrote on Tuesday. “The Yankees believe Rodon wants to come to New York, but if they can’t bridge their difference, they may turn to their next choice, believed to be ex-Yankee Nate Eovaldi. Rodon brings some advantages, his left-handedness being one in Yankee Stadium.”
Eovaldi, who pitched for the Yankees from 2015-2016, should already be quite familiar with the organization. If general manager Brian Cashman and Co. are unable to reel in Rodon, the 32-year-old righty could provide a veteran presence to a starting rotation that is projected to include Gerrit Cole, Nestor Cortes, Luis Severino, Frankie Montas, and Domingo German.
As noted by MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo, Eovaldi’s market has been a slow-moving one this winter. That likely has to do with the fact that the righty is attached to draft pick compensation since the Red Sox extended him a qualifying offer last month.
Eovaldi, who turns 33 in February, posted a 3.87 ERA and 4.30 FIP with 103 strikeouts to 20 walks over 20 starts (109 1/3 innings) for Boston in the final year of his four-year, $68 million contract this season. His workload was limited to due to bouts with low back and right shoulder inflammation. The Red Sox, per Cotillo, did not make any extension offers to Eovaldi during the regular season but have had talks with the ACES client since the World Series ended.
In addition to issuing him a $19.65 million qualifying offer, the Red Sox also gave Eovaldi a multi-year contract offer. He rejected both of those offers, meaning Boston will receive a compensatory pick between the fourth and fifth round of next year’s draft if Eovaldi signs elsewhere.
Earlier this week, WEEI’s Rob Bradford reported that other teams had shown more interest in Eovaldi than the Red Sox had since free agency began in November. The Yankees could very well be one of those teams, though the Sox would still like to add a starter two to their rotation mix for 2023, meaning Eovaldi could still be part of their plans.
“I think everybody knows the situation,” chief baseball officer Chaim Bloom said of Eovaldi during last week’s Winter Meetings in San Diego. “There has been contact and there has been mutual desire for him to come back here. But nothing to report on that front.”
While Eovaldi remains unsigned for the time being, the native Texan did commit to pitch for Team USA in the 2023 World Baseball Classic on Wednesday.
(Picture of Nathan Eovaldi: Maddie Malhotra/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)