Predicted Contract: Four years, $60MM from the Red Sox
Nathan Eovaldi really made a name for himself in Boston this year. In 16 regular season innings against the Yankees, he didn’t give up any runs. That is something that will immediately endear any pitcher in the hearts of Red Sox fans.
Overall, he had a 3.33 ERA for Boston while striking out 48 in 54 innings. But it was again the playoffs that did a lot to bolster his worth. Eovaldi was willing to do whatever the Red Sox needed from him, whether it was to start or come out of the bullpen, whenever they needed him to do it. Most notably, he pitched six relief innings and threw 97 pitches in Game Three of the World Series, after already having pitched in the first two games of the series.
Eovaldi is a more-than-solid free agent option. He is only 28 and he had a very good year split between the Rays and Red Sox in his first year back from Tommy John surgery. The surgery didn’t cause him to lose velocity – his average four-seam fastball clocked in at 97.2 mph, which isn’t even a full tick down from what it was in 2016 (97.7).
Four years at this dollar amount wouldn’t really be a stretch for the Red Sox at all. There are a lot of question marks in their starting rotation – can Chris Sale come back healthy? What Rick Porcello will we get? Can Eduardo Rodriguez pitch more efficiently for a full season? So bringing back Eovaldi would be a smart move.