Red Sox’ Nathan Eovaldi finishes 4th in American League Cy Young voting

Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi finished fourth in American League Cy Young Award voting on Wednesday night, as revealed by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America on MLB Network.

Eovaldi, who was not named a finalist for the award last week, appeared on 19 of the 30 ballots while receiving eight third-place votes, six fourth-place votes, and five fifth-place votes.

Blue Jays left-hander ultimately won his first career Cy Young Award on Wednesday by receiving 29 of 30 first-place votes and finishing with 207 total voting points. Yankees right-hander Gerrit Cole finished in second-place after receiving 123 points, White Sox right-hander Lance Lynn finished in third-place after receiving 48 points, Eovaldi finished in fourth-place after receiving 41 points, and White Sox left-hander Carlos Rodon finished in fifth-place after receiving 34 points.

From there, Athletics right-hander and former Red Sox prospect Frankie Montas placed sixth (21 points), Astros right-hander Lance McCullers Jr. placed seventh (14 points), White Sox closer Liam Hendriks placed eighth (10 points), Blue Jays right-hander Jose Berrios placed ninth (8 points), Athletics right-hander Chris Bassit placed 10th (2 points), and White Sox righty Lucas Giolito and Angels closer Raisel Iglesias placed 11th and 12th by receiving one point each.

For Eovaldi, this marks the first time that he has received Cy Young votes of any kind over the course of his 10-year big-league career.

A first-time All-Star in 2021, the 31-year-old stepped up and emerged as Boston’s true ace while Chris Sale was still recovering from Tommy John surgery and Eduardo Rodriguez was struggling to find his rhythm.

Over a team-high 32 starts, Eovaldi posted a 3.75 ERA and 2.79 FIP to go along with 195 strikeouts and 35 walks across 182 1/3 innings of work. Among qualified American League starters this year, the hard-throwing righty ranked ninth in strikeout rate (25.5%), first in walk rate (4.6%), first in FIP, third in xFIP (3.48), and first in fWAR (5.6), per FanGraphs.

Since helping the Red Sox win a World Series title in 2018 and signing a four-year, $68 million contract that winter to remain in Boston, Eovaldi has risen to the occasion on and off the field as he also serves as the club’s Jimmy Fund captain.

Per’s Chris Cotillo, Eovaldi is the highest Red Sox finisher in Cy Young voting since Sale finished fourth in 2018. The last Boston hurler to win the award was right-hander Rick Porcello, who did so following an exceptional 2016 campaign.

(Picture of Nathan Eovaldi: Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)

Red Sox among teams who have expressed ‘initial interest’ in free-agent right-hander Matt Shoemaker, per report

The Red Sox are one of several teams to express ‘initial interest’ in free-agent right-hander Matt Shoemaker, MLB Network’s Jon Morosi reported late Sunday night.

Shoemaker, who turned 34 in September, is coming off a 2020 season in which he posted a 4.71 ERA and 5.95 FIP over six starts and 28 2/3 innings pitched for the Blue Jays.

The Michigan native was limited to just six outings this year on account of hitting the injured list in late August due to right shoulder inflammation, but he was able to return to the mound a month later. He even got the nod for Toronto in Game 1 of the Wild Card series against the Rays in which he scattered two hits over three scoreless frames.

A former undrafted free agent who signed with the Angels in 2008, Shoemaker has proven to be a solid middle to back-end of the rotation caliber starting pitcher when healthy. That’s the thing, though. He has struggled to stay on the field these past few years.

Prior to the 2020 season, the veteran righty got off to a roaring start with the Jays in 2019, allowing just seven runs (five earned) through his first four outings and 25 2/3 innings of the year (1.75 ERA).

In what was his fifth start of the year against the Athletics on April 20, Shoemaker got caught in a rundown and wound up spraining his left knee. Nine days later, he underwent ACL reconstruction as well as medial meniscus repair, and his season was over just like that.

Again, when he is healthy, Shoemaker, who works with a split-finger fastball, sinker, four-seam fastball, slider, and curveball, has proven to be effective at the major-league level.

The Red Sox are a club in desperate need of starting pitching help, so taking a flier, if you want to call it that, on someone of Shoemaker’s caliber certainly makes sense. Even more so when you consider the fact that the Jays recently locked up left-hander Robbie Ray on a one-year, $8 million deal earlier this week.