Less than 24 hours after the New York Yankees reportedly acquired former all-star closer Zach Britton from the Orioles, the Boston Red Sox made a corresponding move of their own. Nathan Eovaldi, the current Tampa Bay Rays’ flame throwing righty and former Yankee, is shipping up to Boston in exchange for triple-A prospect Jalen Beeks.
Let the AL East war of attrition begin.
Out With The Old, In With The New
While Beeks had his chances with the big league Sox this season, he failed to make much out of them. His 2018 MLB stat line sports an 0-1 record with a 12.79 ERA, having allowed 9 earned runs through 6.1 innings pitched. Though he is still young (25 years old) and still has some big league potential (just ask the Rays), Dave Dombrowski decided that the Sox can do better without him.
Out goes the flailing prospect, in comes a ready-made starter.
For now, Nathan Eovaldi comes over to Fenway with some high upside and some notable baggage. While he is known for his high heat that can occasionally eclipse 100 mph, he’s proven throughout the years to be quite hittable. Over his career, he is 41-50 with a 4.22 ERA, and a 1.35 WHIP.
That being said, Eovaldi has shown at times this season that he can absolutely bring it. In his latest start on July 8th against the Mets, the righty surrendered just one hit through 7 full innings of work while allowing no bases on balls and striking out nine batters. He was nothing short of dominant, and it stands to reason that Dombrowski was watching all along.
Now, with Eovaldi providing a significant and immediate upgrade to the Sox rotation, this team is primed for the postseason. It remains to be seen where Eovaldi will slot in the rotation. But odds are he will find a home either in the 4th or 5th spot. Ahead of him are clear favorites like Chris Sale, David Price, and Rick Porcello. From there, it gets a bit hairy. From the looks of it, Eovaldi joins the mix of Eduardo Rodriguez, Drew Pomeranz, Steven Wright, and Brian Johnson. The former three are dealing with varying levels of injury concerns and waning self-confidence. Johnson figures to be the only level-headed, healthy of the bunch.
That leaves a clear window for Eovaldi to jump right through. The backend of the rotation is for his taking, so long as he can perform up to par.
Bring Him Home To Beantown
Sox fans will be waiting in anticipation for Eovaldi’s first start. The only thing for certain is that Alex Cora has some tough decisions to make with his pitching staff.