Philadelphia Phillies and RHP David Robertson Agree to Two-Year Deal.

The Philadelphia Phillies have reached an agreement with free agent reliever David Robertson on a two-year, $23 million dollar contract, per the team’s official Twitter account. As the tweet reads, the contract also includes a club option worth approximately $12 million for a potential third year.

Robertson, 33, had spent the past season and a half with the Yankees before signing his deal with Philadelphia on Thursday.

Back in November, it was reported that the right-hander was looking to sign on with a club near his home in Rhode Island, thus the Red Sox were viewed as legitimate suitors for Robertson’s services.

Instead, the University of Alabama alum more than likely chose the team that offered him the most money in the Phillies, while also not straying off too far from the Ocean State.

Known for providing quality work out of the bullpen in a variety of roles throughout his 11-year major league career, Robertson posted a 3.23 ERA and 11.8 K/9 over 69 relief appearances and 69.2 innings pitched with New York in 2018. He also recorded five saves.

With this news, one would have to assume that Philadelphia is out of the running for free agent closer Craig Kimbrel after adding Robertson to the back-end of the bullpen.

Whether or not that increases the chances of a reunion between the Red Sox and the seven-time All-Star remains to be seen, but President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski has essentially kept that door open for the time being. And as we near closer and closer to spring training, Kimbrel’s price is sure to go down.

The Red Sox have also remained interest in free agents Adam Ottavino and Zach Britton. If I were to guess on where each would be going, I would venture to say one signs with Boston, while the other winds up in the Bronx, best case scenario.

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#RedSox Reportedly Sign Former Chicago White Sox Reliever Zach Putnam to Minor League Contract.

On the same day they signed RHP Erasmo Ramirez to a minor league deal, the Red Sox made another minor move on Tuesday, as they signed former White Sox reliever Zach Putnam to a minor league contract as well, according to MassLive.com’s Chris Cotillo. It is not clear if this deal includes a Major League invitation to spring training at the time this is being written.

Putnam, 31, missed the entire 2018 season after undergoing Tommy John Surgery while with Chicago in early 2017.

A former fifth round draft pick of the Cleveland Indians back in 2008, Putnam provided the White Sox with stability out of the bullpen over the course of his four-year tenure with the club.

In 139.1 innings of relief from 2014 to 2017, the right-hander posted a 2.71 ERA and 1.18 WHIP to go along with a solid 9.6 K/9 ratio.

A native of Michigan, Putnam also, “posted a gaudy 16.1 percent swinging-strike rate,” and limited hard contact to the tune of an 27.2 opponents’ hard-hit rate in his time on the South Side, according to MLBTradeRumors.com

Given the circumstances, I would say this move has the makings to be a low risk-high reward signing for Dave Dombrowski and the Red Sox.

According to FanGraphs, Putnam was the 48th best reliever in the American League  in terms of fWAR (1.6) from 2014 to 2017.

I understand that he is older now than he was in that span and is coming off major shoulder surgery, but it would not be a surprise to me at all that come June or July, Putnam is up and contributing to the Red Sox’ cause out of the bullpen.

#RedSox Reportedly Agree to Terms on a Minor League Deal with RHP Erasmo Ramirez.

On Tuesday afternoon, MLB.com’s Jesse Sanchez reported that the Boston Red Sox and free agent RHP Erasmo Ramirez were ”nearing’ an agreement on a minor league contract for the 2019 season.

A few hours later, SoxProspects.com updated their transactions log with the news that the two sides had agreed to a contract. Although nothing has been confirmed by the Red Sox themselves, I’m going to go ahead and run with this deal being official.

Ramirez, 28, had spent the last season and a half with the Seattle Mariners, the team that originally signed him as an international free agent out of El Salvador back in 2007.

A native of Nicaragua, Ramirez posted a 6.50 ERA and 1.40 WHIP over 10 games started and 45.2 innings pitched with Seattle in 2018.

Those numbers may not look promising, but one positive from the right-hander’s 2018 campaign was a three-start stretch in August where he surrendered just three total earned runs in 16 innings of work. The Mariners went unbeaten in those three games.

Electing free agency after being outrighted from Seattle’s 40-man roster in November, Ramirez is capable of providing the Red Sox with both rotation and bullpen depth in the minors. He also received an invitation to Major League spring training.

I can’t imagine the chances of seeing Ramirez up with Boston in 2019 are all that high, but I do believe that this is a solid depth signing nonetheless.

It also looks like the veteran hurler got married on Tuesday, so congratulations to him on that.

Rough translation: Congratulations were married || to Erasmus Ramirez, who just the day he reached an agreement with the Boston Red Sox, also marries. An interesting coincidence. Greetings and blessings.

Envisioning a Scenario Where Craig Kimbrel Returns to the #RedSox.

According to several media outlets, Craig Kimbrel is reportedly seeking a six-year contract worth up to $100 million in free agency this winter.

That would be a record deal for a closer, one fit for, “the best closer of all time,” according to Kimbrel’s agent David Meter.

Seven weeks after winning the World Series, the Red Sox find themselves in need of some help out of the bullpen in 2019, even more so now with Joe Kelly reportedly inking a three-year deal with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The market for Kimbrel remains to be seen thus far into the offseason. The Philadelphia Phillies seem like the ideal suitor based on their need for a closer and their willingness to spend big, but nothing has formulated on that front to this point outside of some speculation.

If the Phillies were not to splurge on the flame-throwing right-hander and pursue an alternative, then that could ultimately give the Red Sox a chance to retain the services of their three-time All-Star.

Use JD Martinez as a prime example in this case. Prior to signing with Boston this past February, the Miami native was reportedly seeking a mega-deal in free agency for months.

Granted, Martinez still got paid, but the terms agreed upon were more team friendly than initially thought.

So, with that in mind, let’s say Kimbrel remains a free agent through the winter months, holding out in hopes of receiving a hefty contract offer.

Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski has already stated that the club will wait the reliever market out.

“At this time of year, if you’re going to sign somebody, you’re going to be aggressive and try to make it happen with big dollars,” Dombrowski said at the Baseball Winter Meetings last week. “We’re not at that point in the reliever market.”

Given the fact that Dombrowski has already doled out $68 million to RHP Nathan Eovaldi earlier in the month, a reunion with Kimbrel for a steep price seems unlikely now, but things could change once Spring Training begins to loom.

Take into consideration that the 30-year-old presumably knows the Red Sox organization inside and out. The city, the culture, the media. That’s all covered if Kimbrel remains in Boston

Having been with the club since 2016, Kimbrel, albeit shaky at times, has posted quality numbers in Boston and has maintained his status as one of the more elite relievers in all of baseball.

If the demand for the Alabama native is not as hyped as initially thought, then perhaps Craig Kimbrel will be taking the mound in a Red Sox uniform once again in 2019.

 

A Breakdown of Nathan Eovaldi’s New Four-Year Contract with the #RedSox.

On Thursday, the Boston Red Sox signed RHP Nathan Eovaldi to a four-year, $68 million deal through the 2022 season. The specific details of that contract were not announced at the time the club made the signing public, but that changed on Friday night thanks in part to Fancred’s Jon Heyman:

As it turns out, the average annual value of Eovaldi’s new contract, $17 million, will actually be how much he earns per season, presumably before taxes.

On top of that, Heyman reported that the right-hander would receive signing bonuses of $50,000 for potential All-Star team selections, third place finishes in MVP and Cy Young Award voting, and League Championship Series appearances/MVP selections.

Eovaldi would also receive bonuses of $75,000 for finishing as the runner-up in MVP and Cy Young Award voting.

And finally, if the Houston native wins himself another World Series or is named MVP or the Cy Young Award winner, he will receive signing bonuses of up to $100,000.

Looking ahead to Boston’s 2019 payroll, which will undoubtedly be the most expensive in all of baseball again, it looks like Eovaldi will earn the fourth most on the team behind David Price ($31M), JD Martinez ($23.7M), and Rick Porcello ($21M).

#RedSox Officialy Sign Nathan Eovaldi to Four-Year, $68 Million Deal.

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.

New York Yankees Reportedly “Shifting Focus” to #RedSox Free Agent Nathan Eovaldi with Patrick Corbin Joining Washington Nationals.

Earlier Tuesday afternoon, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported the following:

This tweet came mere minutes after it was reported that free-agent LHP Patrick Corbin signed a six-year/$140 million deal with the Washington Nationals, thus eliminating New York, who appeared to be the favorites to sign Corbin, from the sweepstakes.

Despite already re-signing veteran lefty CC Sabathia and acquiring another southpaw in the form of James Paxton from the Seattle Mariners, it still appears as though Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman is doing everything in his power to shore up his starting rotation.

With Corbin, 29, off the table now, it only makes sense that a club in need of pitching would turn its attention to another attractive option, and when taking age and recency into account, that would be none other than RHP Nathan Eovaldi.

Eovaldi, 28, spent two seasons with New York from 2015 to 2016, where he posted a 4.45 ERA and 1.39 WHIP over 51 appearances (48 starts) and 279 total innings pitched before being released in November of 2016.

A two-time recipient of Tommy John Surgery, Eovaldi signed a one-year deal that included a player option with the Tampa Bay Rays prior to the start of the 2017 season. A deal that ultimately ended with the Texas native in a Red Sox uniform and a World Series champion in 2018.

Now, thanks to his stellar first ever postseason in a contract year, Eovaldi is set for a huge pay-day this winter.

It has been reported that the right-hander would like to return to Boston, and that feeling is mutual, according to President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski, who spoke with media on Monday night at the premiere of the Red Sox World Series documentary.

“We’ve expressed we do have interest in bringing Nathan back,” Dombrowski said. “We’ve talked to him, but so have a lot of other people. There’s a lot of interest in him.”

Late last week, the Houston Astros, a team the Red Sox defeated on their way to that World Series title, were seen as a club heavily interested in acquiring the services of Eovaldi, and now the New York Yankees have joined in as well.

There are more than likely other clubs in the mix as well, meaning the Red Sox will really have to make a legitimate offer to retain Eovaldi’s services.

It’s a tough spot to be in, but Eovaldi has already proven what he can do on the biggest stage in the biggest market. Unless Dombrowski feels confident in other options out in the trade or free agency market, Eovaldi should be the way to go. Pay the man his money and shore up one of the best rotations in the American League.