Mitch Moreland Comes Through with Go-Ahead, Pinch-Hit Three-Run Home Run as #RedSox Rally to Top Mariners

After dropping their first game of the season on Thursday night, the Red Sox, like they did last year, bounced back with a come from behind 7-6 victory over the Seattle Mariners, marking their first win of 2019.

Making his first start of the 2019 season in this one was Nathan Eovaldi, who had only ever pitched at T-Mobile Field once before in his career.

Following up a performance in which Chris Sale surrendered seven runs and three home runs to Seattle on Opening Day, Eovaldi himself struggled on Friday.

Working the first five innings, the right-hander allowed six runs, all earned, on eight hits and two walks to go along with three strikeouts. Similarly to Sale, three of those Seattle hits were home runs, courtesy of Mallex Smith and Domingo Santana in the first, and Omar Narvaez in the second.

It wasn’t just the home runs that were concerning though, it was the fact that Mariners hitters were making really solid contact off of Eovaldi’s pitches.

According to Statcast, the 29-year-old hurler gave up hits that had a registered exit velocity of 108.4 MPH, 107.7 MPH, 106 MPH, and 105.9 MPH.

If there is a positive to be taken away from this outing, it’s that Eovaldi’s arsenal is still as nasty as ever, he retired the final three hitters he faced in order in the fifth, and Jackie Bradley Jr. defensive highlights are back.

Finishing with a final pitch count of 89 (63 strikes) and a top velocity of 99.5 MPH with his four-seamer, Eovaldi’s next start should come against the Oakland Athletics next Thursday.

In relief of Eovaldi, the Red Sox bullpen was actually nearly perfect, with Colten Brewer, Brandon Workman, Brian Johnson, and Matt Barnes combining to hold the Mariners scoreless on just two walks over the final four innings on Friday.

Brewer, in his official Red Sox debut, worked his way around those two walks by getting Jay Bruce to ground out to second to end the sixth.

Workman retired the side in order in the seventh, while Johnson, appearing in a game for the second consecutive night, struck out the side in the eighth. He was also credited with Boston’s first winning decision of the 2019 season.

And finally in the ninth, after his team had just gone up by one run, in came Matt Barnes, Red Sox closer.

Barnes, in his fourth full big league season now, did not need to over-exert himself in his first relief appearance of 2019, as he sat down the Mariners in 1-2-3 fashion to earn his first save since 2017.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Mariners left-hander Yusei Kikuchi to start things out on Friday.

In his first season in the majors after coming over from Japan last offseason, Kikuchi did a solid job of holding the Boston bats in check in his first start in Seattle.

Beginning in the second inning, Xander Bogaerts provided the Red Sox with their first run of the evening by mashing his first home run of the year. He’s coming off a 2018 season in which he belted a career-best 23 of those.

Fast forward to the fifth, after the Mariners had jumped out to a 6-1 lead, and it looked like a promising start to the inning with both Rafael Devers and Sam Travis reaching base with no outs, but just one run would manage to score on a GIDP off the bat of Jackie Bradley Jr. with Devers coming in from third. 6-2 Seattle.

That deficit for the Red Sox would shrink a bit an inning later though, as JD Martinez, like Bogaerts, also delivered with his first homer of the season, a two out 428 foot shot to dead center to make it a 6-3 contest.

In the eighth, with reliever Zac Rosscup now in the game for Seattle, a Christian Vazquez leadoff home run probably should have been the catalyst of a mult-run Red Sox rally.

Instead, after Andrew Benintendi, Mookie Betts, and Xander Bogaerts all reached base to load the bases and the Mariners swapped out Rosscup for Cory Gearrin, Eduardo Nunez fell short by hitting into an inning-ending 1-2-3 double play.

A bizarre play to say the least, given the fact that Nunez just stopped and watch the play transpire rather than run to first base after avoiding the tag from Gearrin.

It looked as if it was going to be all gloom and doom from there, and the Red Sox were about to start a season 0-2 for the first time since 2012

But, in similar fashion to what they did in 2018, they rallied back in a tremendous way in their half of the ninth.

With new Mariners closer Hunter Strickland, a former Red Sox draft pick, in to protect a two-run lead, Rafael Devers got the late rally started with a line drive double to the opposite field.

Blake Swihart, who came on to pinch-hit for Sam Travis, unintentionally advanced Devers to third thanks to a passed ball and was awarded first after taking a slider from Strickland off his left toe.

Coming to the plate with the opportunity to make it a one-run game at the very least, Bradley Jr. was unable to score Devers, as the young third baseman was thrown out trying to score on a soft grounder to first.

Down to their final two outs with runners at first and second, in came another key substitution in Mitch Moreland, pinch-hitting for Christian Vazquez.

Similarly enough to what he did for the Red Sox coming off the bench in last year’s World Series, Moreland came through in the clutch yet again, delivering big time with the go-ahead three-run bomb to right field.

It was pretty evident that Strickland wasn’t exactly himself in this one, and that home run, which registered an exit velocity of 114 MPH, was quite evident of that.

Moreland’s first long ball of 2019 put the Red Sox up 7-6, and that would go on to be the final score in Boston’s first win of the season.

Some notes from this win:

As I mentioned earlier, the Red Sox hadn’t started a season 0-2 since 2012, and some guys seemed to be aware of that following Friday’s win.

Including the postseason, the Red Sox are 12-0 in games when Christian Vazquez hits a home run.

The Brock Holt/JD Martinez bromance is back in our lives.

More from Holt:

Next up for the Red Sox, they’ll look to improve to 2-1 on the young season later Saturday night.

Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez will be getting the ball for the first time in 2019 for Boston, while right-hander Mike Leake will do the same for Seattle.

Rodriguez, 25, owns a 3.57 ERA over 17.2 innings pitched in three career starts at T-Mobile Field.

First pitch Saturday is scheduled for 9:10 PM EDT on NESN.

Blake Swihart Homers and Sam Travis Blasts Grand Slam as #RedSox Fall to Cubs in Spring Finale

The Red Sox wrapped up their spring on Tuesday afternoon with a 14-7 loss at the hands of the Chicago Cubs, meaning they failed to pick up a win in their brief two-game exhibition series in Mesa, Az. before heading north to Seattle for the real thing.

David Price, who we have not seen much of in the past few weeks, made just his second start of the spring in this one.

Pitching into the fourth inning, the left-hander surrendered five runs on six hits and two walks to go along with a pair of strikeouts on the day.

Retiring seven of the first eight hitters he faced, it looked as though things were going swimmingly for Price up until the bottom half of the third, when four straight Cubs hitters reached base, which in turn resulted in their first two runs crossing the plate.

An inning later, a two out solo home run off the bat of Kyle Schwarber would ultimately spell the end to Price’s day, as he would depart from this one following another run of three straight Cubs hits, capped off by an Addison Russell RBI double.

Facing 18 batters in total, Price’s next and first start of the regular season will come against the Oakland Athletics on Monday, April 1st.

From the middle of the bottom half of the fourth on, Trevor Kelley, Heath Hembree, Brandon Workman, Adam Lau, Tyler Thornburg, Colten Brewer, Ryan Weber, and Durbin Feltman combined to give up a whopping 11 runs (10 earned) on nine hits, four walks, two HBPs, and seven punch outs over the final 4.1 frames.

Not great numbers, obviously. Hembree, Workman, and Lau were responsible for eight of those runs in a monster fifth inning for Chicago.

On a more positive note, Weber tossed a scoreless seventh inning, so there’s that.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was matched up against Cubs right-hander Carl Edwards Jr., who typically pitches in a relief role, to start things off on Tuesday.

After failing to put anything on the board in their first two trips to the plate, Blake Swihart kicked off the scoring for Boston with a one out solo home run in the third inning off Massachusetts native Tim Collins, his first of the spring.

Fast forward all the way to the sixth, and Sam Travis got his impressive day at the plate started by belting a line drive RBI double to left that allowed Eduardo Nunez to score all the way from first.

And later on in the eighth, after the first four Red Sox hitters had reached base to lead the inning off, including a Tate Matheny RBI single, Travis capped off his spring in exciting fashion, mashing a bases-clearing grand slam off Cubs reliever Ian Clarkin.

Granted, it ended up not making that huge a difference in the final score, but what a way for the 25-year-old Travis to head into his first ever big league Opening Day. Hard not to be excited for him.

Anyway, the Red Sox would go on to drop this one by a final score of 14-7 to put the finishing touches on what turned out to be a 12-17-1 spring.

Next up for the Red Sox, it’s Opening Day as well as opening weekend in Seattle. Here are the starting pitchers Alex Cora is going with for the first series of the 2019 season.

Game 1: LHP Chris Sale vs. LHP Marco Gonzales (1-0, 4.50 ERA)
Game 2: RHP Nathan Eovaldi vs. LHP Yusei Kikuchi (0-0, 1.93 ERA)
Game 3: LHP Eduardo Rodriguez vs. RHP Mike Leake
Game 4: RHP Rick Porcello vs. LHP Wade LeBlanc

First pitch Opening Day (March 28th) is scheduled for 7:10 PM EDT on ESPN.

It’s almost that time.

Nathan Eovaldi Strikes out Three as #RedSox Fall to Twins 4-1

The Red Sox fell to 8-15-1 in Grapefruit League play on Monday afternoon following a 4-1 loss at the hands of the Minnesota Twins down the road at Hammond Stadium. They are now 2-4 against Minnesota this spring, and with only one game left between the two sides, the 2019 Chairman’s Cup essentially belongs to the Twins already.

Making his second start of exhibition season in this one was Nathan Eovaldi, who made his Red Sox Grapefruit League debut against the Twins as well.

Working the first four innings of this one, the right-hander surrendered two runs, both of which were scored in the first, on four hits and one walk to go along with three strikeouts on the day. He was also reaching 99-100 MPH with his fastball.

Those two runs came on a two out two-run home run off the bat of Eddie Rosario, marking the Twins slugger’s fourth home run of the spring.

Other than that, Eovaldi worked his way around two more additional hits in the bottom half of the second before retiring the final six hitters he faced in order to end his afternoon on a positive note.

From the middle of the fifth inning on, Matt Barnes, Brandon Workman, and Ryan Weber combined to give up another pair of runs on four hits, no walks, and five strikeouts over the final four frames.

Barnes, who revealed postgame that he was tipping some of his pitches on Monday, gave up both of those runs in a rough fifth inning, but fixed the issue and struck out Marwin Gonzalez to put an end to the Twins rally.

Weber, meanwhile, faced the minimum six hitters and struck out half of them in an impressive seventh and eighth inning of relief.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup was limited to just one run on seven hits by ace right-hander Jose Berrios and the rest of the Twins staff.

That one run came in the top of the first and it was provided by JD Martinez, who drove in Mookie Betts from third on a line drive RBI single off Berrios.

Despite leaping out to an early advantage, the Boston bats really failed to put anything else together for the remainder of the afternoon in Fort Myers.

Some notes from this loss:

Martinez went 2/2 with an RBI and a walk on Monday batting out of the cleanup spot.

Rafael Devers forget his regular jersey on the short trip, so he had to wear No. 84 before eventually making the switch back over to No. 11.

Weber was reassigned to minor league camp following Monday’s game, meaning the Red Sox now have 35 players at big league camp.

Next up for the Red Sox, they’ll welcome the Toronto Blue Jays into JetBlue Park for a Tuesday afternoon showdown.

Eduardo Rodriguez is scheduled to start for Boston, while right-hander Sean-Reid Foley, who is one of the only two major leaguers to be born in Guam, will be doing the same for Toronto.

First pitch Tuesday is scheduled for 1:05 EDT at JetBlue. Boston 25 and NESN have it covered.

Nathan Eovaldi’s Solid Spring Debut Not Enough as #RedSox Fall to Twins for Seventh Straight Loss

The Red Sox fell to 6-12 in Grapefruit League play on Wednesday following a 9-5 loss at the hands of the Minnesota Twins, marking their seventh consecutive defeat. Minnesota now has the advantage in the race for the 2019 Chairman’s Cup at three games to two.

A recurring theme for the Red Sox these past few days has been star pitchers making their 2019 spring debuts, and that was the case once again with Nathan Eovaldi on Wednesday at JetBlue Park.

Making his first ever Grapefruit League start for Boston, the right-hander looked sharp, surrendering just one run on one hit and one walk to go along with one strikeout. A whole lot of one’s.

That lone run came off the bat of former top prospect Byron Buxton, who led the third inning off for the Twins with his fourth home run of the spring.

Other than that one mishap, it was relatively smooth sailing for Eovaldi, who faced one over the minimum nine hitters.

From the top of the fourth inning on, Colten Brewer, Brian Johnson, Adam Lau, Josh Smith, and Dun Runzler combined to give up eight runs on nine hits, two walks, two HBPs, and three strikeouts.

Working the fourth inning, the run allowed by Brewer was unearned due to a fielding error committed by Xander Bogaerts. Still, the 26-year-old was charged with a blown save.

Johnson, meanwhile, was handed down his second losing decision of the spring, as the southpaw got shellacked for four Minnesota runs on four hits, including a Brian Navarreto two-run homer, in less than two full frames of work.

In three outings so far this spring, Johnson owns a 14.40 ERA and 2.20 WHIP over five total innings.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox lineup, which again featured many regulars, was matched up against Twins ace Jose Berrios to start things off.

Getting the scoring started for Boston in this one was Blake Swihart, who built on his ninth inning RBI double from Tuesday with a two RBI two-bagger in the second inning on Wednesday.

Fast forward all the way to the sixth, after the Twins had just jumped out to a 6-2 lead of their own, and Brock Holt pulled the Red Sox a little closer by driving in Eduardo Nunez all the way from first on an RBI double off Matt Magill. For Holt, his fifth RBI of the spring.

Finally, in the ninth, with this contest essentially out of reach in Minnesota’s favor already, Red Sox prospect Tate Matheny tried to get another late rally started with a two out, two-run triple off Twins reliever Dusten Knight.

Alas, Minnesota would hold on to take this one, as 9-5 would be your final score on Wednesday.

Some notes from this loss:

JD Martinez was initially slated to start at left field for the Red Sox, but was scratched from Boston’s lineup due to back tightness. That is why Bryce Brentz started in left instead.

The Red Sox are 0-7 in their last seven games. In those seven games, they have been outscored 53-15. I understand that it’s just spring training, but it’s something to keep an eye on nonetheless.

Next up for the Red Sox, they’ll make the trek up north to visit the Detroit Tigers at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland on Thursday.

Eduardo Rodriguez will be making the start for Boston, while fellow left-hander Matthew Boyd will do the same for Detroit.

First pitch Thursday is scheduled for 1:05 EDT. MLB Network will have it covered.

#RedSox Reintroduce Nathan Eovaldi at Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas.

After officially signing a four-year contract with the Boston Red Sox this past Thursday, Nathan Eovaldi was formally reintroduced as a member of the club at the Baseball Winter Meetings in Las Vegas along side Alex Cora and Dave Dombrowski.

Although there was no cap or jersey present for photo opportunities like you usually see at these press conferences, there were still plenty of questions to be asked regarding Eovaldi’s decision to remain with Boston and the Red Sox’s pursuit of the right-hander.

“We’re very thrilled to have Nate back in the organization,” President of Baseball Operations Dave Dombrowski said to open things up, “He did a tremendous job for us last season. Joined us for the regular season and the postseason. For us it was really focused on if we could bring Nate back, and fortunately it worked out.”

Acquired from the Tampa Bay Rays on July 25th, Eovaldi posted a 3.33 ERA while recording 48 strikeouts over 54 total innings pitched and 12 appearances (11 starts) with Boston before reaching his first ever postseason.

There, the Houston native shined with a 1.61 ERA, a .185 BAA, and the performance of a lifetime in Game Three of the 2018 World Series against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“What he did was amazing,” said Red Sox manager Alex Cora, “Like he was saying, for me personally that was like the biggest moment of the World Series, for him to compete at that level.”

“The conversations in between innings, they were cool. And I remember the last one when I asked him, How are you feeling, he said, Let me finish it. He said it with a lot of conviction. I knew he was good.”

Those six-plus frames of relief from Eovaldi may have ultimately led to Boston’s only loss in this year’s Fall Classic, but it seemingly earned the admiration of Red Sox fans everywhere, and that more than likely played a role in the 28-year-old’s free agency decision.

“The love and support that they were showing me throughout that whole series and especially after that Game Three, gives me goosebumps just thinking about it,” Eovaldi said, “And it’s definitely a special moment and dear to my heart. I want to come back be a part of that.”

Eovaldi also mentioned how he had offers from other clubs to work out of the bullpen and close games, but he did not see himself taking on that role.

“I view myself as a starter, and that’s something I’ve always done my entire career. And I enjoy doing that. So if I had that choice, I still wanted to be a starter.”

The former 11th round pick’s new contract is worth a grand total of $68 million through 2022. He’s had Tommy John surgery twice, and is confident in the Red Sox training staff.

“I feel I can trust my training staff. That’s a big role in me coming over here as well,” Eovaldi said, “And anytime I feel anything, I tell them, and we start the rehab or the treatment for it. And then if it gets worse, then we take time off. But I think we’ve been able to work through a lot of things and stay healthy.”

A two-time recipient of Tommy John surgery, health and durability will remain to be a prevalent factor in Eovaldi’s tenure with the Red Sox, but he has the backing of the club’s coaching staff.

“Four years of Nathan [Eovaldi], that’s going to be great for the organization,” said Alex Cora.

 

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.

 

Nine Teams, Including the #RedSox, Are Reportedly Interested in Free Agent RHP Nathan Eovaldi.

On Sunday, The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo reported that up to eight teams not named the Boston Red Sox are interested in acquiring the services of free agent RHP Nathan Eovaldi.

Nathan Eovaldi, RHP, free agent — The early suitors are the Brewers, Phillies, Braves, Angels, Red Sox, White Sox, Blue Jays, Padres, and Gianrts. There’s likely to be more. Eovaldi would love to stay in Boston and the Red Sox will take their best shot.”

Given that Eovaldi will only be 29 next season and no compensatory draft pick will have to be given up to sign him, it makes sense that the right-hander has a high volume of suitors this early in the offseason.

Out of the clubs listed above, I would venture to say that about five are intending to contend for a World Series title in 2019.

The Brewers, Braves, and defending champion Red Sox are all coming off postseason appearances this October, while teams like the Phillies and Angels may have come up short this year, but have the resources to bounce back in 2019.

On the other side of this spectrum, the White Sox, Blue Jays, Padres, and Giants all finished with losing records this past season, but seem keen on at least making things interesting next year.

Take for instance the reports that the White Sox appear to be in on a number of big-money free agents this winter, such as Bryce Harper and Manny Machado, or the reports that the Padres have been interesting in adding a high-end starter, such as Noah Syndergaard, for some time now.

As for the Blue Jays and Giants, well, neither club seems to be in the best position to compete in 2019, but both were in the postseason as recently as 2016, so there’s that.

In terms of what the Red Sox should do, that depends on how much they truly value Eovaldi.

Like Cafardo reports above, the Texas native has made it clear that he would like to remain in a Red Sox uniform for the forseeable future, but that will obviously come at a decently hefty price.

There are other starting pitching options, internal and on the free agency market, but Eovaldi has already proven that he can do what others can’t, pitch on the biggest stage in the biggest market with the spotlight on him. A 1.61 postseason ERA is quite evident of that.

If retaining Eovaldi equates to moving on from free agent reliever Joe Kelly, then I believe that is a move Dave Dombrowksi has to be willing to make in order to round out what should be one of the best starting rotations in the American League.

How Much Money Will Nathan Eovaldi Make This Winter?

When the Red Sox acquired the services of Nathan Eovaldi from the Tampa Bay Rays on July 25th, it was not all that clear what they were getting.

Many expected President of Baseball Ops Dave Dombrowksi to pursue a frontline reliever, such as Zach Britton or even Brad Hand, to stabilize his club’s then shaky bullpen, but that was not the case, or was it?

Over a two-month span with Boston, Eovaldi posted a 3.33 ERA and .266 BAA in 12 games (11 starts) and exactly 54 innings pitched.

There were some ups and downs mixed in with some dominant outings, but the right-hander provided the Red Sox with a high velocity arm capable of getting big outs, and that’s what he did in the postseason.

Making his first career appearance on a playoff roster, Eovaldi went on to be a crucial piece of the puzzle for Boston, both as a starter and reliever.

In the six October contests he appeared in, the Red Sox went 5-1, with that one loss coming in that 18 inning loss to the Los Angeles Dodgers in Game Three of the World Series, a game where the Houston native tossed six-plus innings of one-run baseball on just one day of rest.

He would not appear in a game for the remainder of the series, but that effort alone appeared to have inspired the team to bounce back the way they did following that ugly loss en route to a World Series title.

Behind Steve Pearce and David Price, I would go ahead and say Eovaldi finished third in World Series MVP voting.

So now, the ex-Ray is set to hit free agency for the second time in his career. With a base salary of around $2 million this season, Eovaldi will no doubt be highly sought out after being a bargain this year.

With that in mind, I thought I would pose the following question: How much money should the Red Sox pay Nathan Eovaldi?

After the heroic month of October he had, I don’t believe I would be the first to say that the Red Sox need to do anything possible to retain his services.

Eovaldi is 28, has had two Tommy John surgeries, and has one of the more electric and durable fastballs in baseball.

Drew Pomeranz is also set to hit free agency, so ignoring the price for a second, Eovaldi would be able to fill in that spot if he were to stay.

We could be looking at a 2019 starting rotation, that, when healthy, consists of Chris Sale, David Price, Rick Porcello. Eduardo Rodriguez, and then Eovaldi.

That is pretty good, but it would also be pretty expensive.

Last winter, the two highest contracts awarded to starting pitchers were Yu Darvish’s six-year/$126 million deal with the Chicago Cubs and Jake Arrieta’s three-year/$75 million deal with the Philadelphia Phillies.

Both of those AAV’s come out to $21+ million per season and both Darvish and Arrieta were respectively 31 and 32 when those contracts were signed.

They were also both regarded as aces when with the Texas Rangers and Chicago Cubs, while Eovaldi has never been given that role in his seven-year career.

So, to cut to the chase, given what he did in the postseason and specifically against the New York Yankees, I would predict the Red Sox and Eovaldi agree to a four-year deal somewhere in the $70-$75 million range.

Let’s get it done.