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.

 

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#RedSox and Tyler Thornburg Avoid Arbitration, Come to Terms on One-Year, Non-Guaranteed Deal for 2019 Season.

The Boston Red Sox announced on Friday morning that they had made the following roster moves:

There were legitimate rumors circulating the past few days that Thornburg had a chance to be non-tendered by the Red Sox today, but the two sides came to an agreement prior to the 8 PM ET deadline.

Per NBC Sports Boston’s Evan Drellich, Thornburg’s new deal is worth, “$1.75 million with $400K in potential bonuses for games pitched.”

Since being acquired by Boston from the Milwaukee Brewers prior to the start of the 2017 season, Thornburg, 30, did not make his Red Sox debut until this past July.

In the 25 games he appeared in as a reliever during the 2018 campaign, the right-hander posted an unsightly 5.63 ERA and .901 OPS against to go along with 21 strikeouts and 10 walks over 24 total innings of work.

Limited this year because of thoracic outlet surgery on his throwing shoulder in March, Thornburg was eventually shut down in late September and did not pitch for Boston in the postseason.

Known by Red Sox fans as the pitcher the club gave up slugging infielder Travis Shaw and promising prospect Mauricio Dubon for, Thornburg’s tenure in Boston has been far from memorable, and he’ll have to make the Opening Day roster out of spring training in order for his 2019 salary to be guaranteed.

Red Sox President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski also announced on Friday that the team will tender contracts for the 2019 season to all 29 players on the Red Sox major league roster who are unsigned.

 

#RedSox Acquire RHP Colten Brewer from San Diego Padres.

In a slew of several roster moves, the Red Sox announced on Tuesday evening that they had officially acquired right-handed reliever Colten Brewer from the San Diego Padres in exchange for infield prospect Esteban Quiroz.

Reported earlier in the day, this transaction provides Dave Dombrowski with another fascinating addition to his bullpen.

At the age of 26, Brewer just broke in with the Padres this year after spending different parts of six seasons with three different organizations, where he posted a 5.59 ERA and .357 BAA over 11 relief appearances and 9.2 innings pitched.

A former fourth round pick of the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2011, Brewer, per Statcast, relies on four different pitches, his cutter, his curveball, his four-seam fastball, and his slider.

Brewer

Procuring a swing rate of 36.6% in 2018, Brewer, a native of Dallas, Texas, will look to provide his new club with a different kind of look out of the bullpen in 2019.

On the other side of this deal, the Red Sox parted ways with minor league infielder Esteban Quiroz.

Ranked as Boston’s 28th best prospect over at SoxProspects.com, Quiorz initially joined the organization as an international free agent from Mexico last November.

In his age 26 and first minor league season in the states, Quiroz slashed .283/.406/.547 to go along with seven home runs and 31 RBI over a span of 32 games between the Gulf Coast League Red Sox and Double A Portland Sea Dogs.

The trade was made official at approximately 4:47 PM ET.

That, along with the roster moves I previously mentioned, puts the Red Sox 40-man roster at 39.

I will have more on the other moves later.

#RedSox Extend Qualifying Offer of $17.9 Million to Craig Kimbrel.

On Friday, NBC Sports Boston’s Evan Drellich reported that the Red Sox had extended a qualifying offer to Craig Kimbrel.

The qualifying offer, which has a value of $17.9 million, also has an expiration date, as the right-handed Kimbrel now has 10 days or either accept or decline it.

Regardless of the decision the flame throwing closer makes, this moves seems to be a win-win for the Red Sox. Either they get their All-Star reliever back for another season on a rather expensive deal, or, if Kimbrel declines the QO and chooses to sign elsewhere, the Red Sox will receive a compensatory pick in next year’s MLB draft from that club.

According to MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince, “only five of the 73 players who have been extended qualifying offers since this system began in 2012 have accepted the offers.”

With that statistic in mind, I’m going to go ahead and Say Kimbrel will turn down the QO and opt for a long-term deal with a team willing to splurge on a closer.

Whether or not the Red Sox are willing to spend that much on a ninth-inning man has yet to be determined. But, from what I have gathered recently, and sound more and more likely that the club likes their internal options to take over that spot, such as Matt Barnes or Ryan Brasier.

In his third and potential final season with Boston, Kimbrel notched 42 saves to go along with a 2.74 ERA and 96 strikeouts over 62.1 innings pitched. He also made his third consecutive All-Star team and became a World Series champion for the first time in his career.

MLB free agency is set to begin this weekend. Stay tuned.

The Hot Stove is Far From Hot.

For the first time in weeks, I thought the MLB hot stove was about to heat up. Pirates ace Gerrit Cole has been traded to the Houston Astros, or so I thought. It turns out that this was just a ‘false rumor’ or something along those lines.

This was a bummer. This move would have surpassed Wade Davis to the Rockies as the biggest move of the offseason. Sure, Gerrit Cole will more than likely get traded within the next few days, but it’s still all speculation. We can’t avoid the fact that the MLB offseason is progressing at a snail’s pace. JD Martinez, Eric Hosmer, and Jake Arrieta are just some of the top free agents still on the market. I thought for sure the Giancarlo Stanton trade would loosen things up back in December, but clearly I was wrong. If I had to guess what is causing this free agency back-up, I would say committment is the biggest issue. Big league clubs aren’t as willing as they used to to hand out large deals over an extended period of times. Gone are the days of ten-year deals, in my opinion. Josh Hamilton, Pablo Sandoval, and even Albert Pujols come to mind. I know that they did not sign ten-year deals, but the clubs they signed with certainly did not get a positive return on investment.

Although the clubs are leaning more towards short-term deals, it remains to be seen if players and their agents will ever accept it. As an agent, I’m fairly certain you want to get the most value out of your client, and that’s what Scott Boras specializes in. Because of this, you have guys like JD Martinez and Eric Hosmer who remain unsigned. There have been rumors that both are seeking deals where their AAV would exceed $20 million dollars, that’s not the problem. The problem is the length of the contract. Given the fact Martinez is already 30 years old, I’m certain there’s a consensus around Major League Baseball that he is not worth a seven or eight year deal, which appears to be what Boras, his agent, wants.

There are several factors that go into a player and his agent wanting a long deal, but baseball may be ushering in a new era where that is a rare occasion. You have your once in a generation talent like Bryce Harper and Manny Machado who are going to get deals that last 10+ years, but what about the rest? Is it worth it for the Red Sox to pay JD Martinez north of $20 million dollars a year into his age 37 season? Probably not. If Martinez and Boras were accepting of a three or four-year deal, then he would have been signed weeks ago, the same with Eric Hosmer. All I know is, the market is messed up and this may be the start of something new in baseball.