The Red Sox have re-signed Nathan Eovaldi to a 4 year, $67.5 Million deal. The postseason horse is back in the barn. Because of the lack of home grown talent, and a shallow free agent pool, this was a move the Red Sox needed to make.
Well respected and knowledgeable baseball minds are trumpeting how bad a deal this is. To whit:
— Tony Massarotti (@TonyMassarotti) December 7, 2018
Framingham’s own Lou Merloni was on the airwaves of WEEI and NBCSN last night saying essentially the same thing. Because of Eovaldi’s injury history, this is an over-pay.
It is true that Eovaldi has not been consistent in his career. Therefore, the Red Sox could paying for only potential. But where does this deal stack up against a different set of peers than the esteemed Mr. Massarotti put forth:
- Yu Darvish $21 Million
- Jeff Samardzija $18 Million
- Hyun-Jin Ryu $17.9 Million
- Nathan Eovaldi $16.875 Million
- Mike Leake $16 Million
- Wei-Yin Chen $16 Million
- Rich Hill $16 Million
In this context, Eovaldi almost looks like a bargain.
22.1 Innings, 2-1 record, 15 Hits, 3 Walks, 16 Strikeouts, 1.61 ERA
He pitched in three of the five World Series games, and was the hard-luck looser in the longest game in World Series history. Because of his 6 innings of extra innings work in Game 3, the bullpen was saved, as well as the other starters. This ultimately resulted in a World Series Championship.
Nathan Eovaldi Is Necessary
The Red Sox have almost no starting pitcher talent in the minor leagues. Their best prospect, Jay Groome, underwent Tommy John Surgery in May of this year. Beyond Groome, there is no one to speak of who could help the Red Sox in 2019.
If not Eovaldi, then what? J.A. Happ: A 36 year old pitcher who pitched a grand total of 2 innings in the Yankees Game 1 loss to the Red Sox in the Divisional Round. Dallas Keuchel: A 31 year old pitcher who has already had his best days. Eovaldi’s best days are ahead.
Perhaps the Eovaldi signing leads to a bigger deal. At the very least, the Red Sox have a solid #3 or #4 starter. And he has the potential to be more, at a reasonable cost.