Red Sox: Moving Nathan Eovaldi over David Price would be wiser choice
The Boston Red Sox would be wise to trade Nathan Eovaldi instead of David Price if they need to move an expensive pitcher to trim payroll.
As this offseason drags on, there are an infinite number of questions hanging over the Boston Red Sox. With a number of players who’ve been key to Boston’s success over the past years’ futures with the ball club in doubt, we await any news about moves that this new-look front office will make before going into the 2020 season.
Cutting as much of the payroll as possible seems to be the main prerogative for Chaim Bloom. Who goes and who will stay remains unknown for now, but the Sox being on the verge of a rebuild seems pretty unthinkable considering the position that the team was in just one year ago. Things change at lightning speed in baseball, but thinking of the future is something that a franchise has to do in this day and age, and this means that there could be a few big names on the way out.
There have been a number of names rumored to becoming victims to Bloom’s axing of wages. David Price and Nathan Eovaldi are among these, for obvious reasons. Price is supposed to make $32 million over the next three seasons, before becoming an unrestricted free agent for the 2023 season, while Eovaldi’s heroics in the 2018 World Series earned him a huge payout which would see him get $17 million per year for the next three years.
Right now, both Price and Eovaldi would cost the Sox a whopping $147 million before both become UFA’s prior to the 2023 season. When it became evident that the plan was to cut payroll, this was always going to be the focal point to deal with. It’s extremely unlikely that these two remain in Boston for the foreseeable future.
Something that the Red Sox can’t afford to do is just get rid of multiple key players without a plan of action in terms of their replacements. In an offseason which probably won’t see many new faces come into the program, the Sox need to be careful with who they give up if they want to remain competitive in an extremely tough AL East. If Bloom wants to move one of his expensive pitchers soon, Eovaldi should be the one that he deals.
If you’re Bloom and you’re looking to cut as much as possible, then Price is the option to deal, as he earns almost double of what Eovaldi earns per season. But, Price’s value to the Red Sox remains greater than Eovaldi. Price has been in Boston for four seasons now, and even though it started off pretty slowly and the fans took a while to take to the lefty, that foundation has now been established.
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Price had an exceptional 2018 postseason and was huge in getting the Sox over the line, like Eovaldi. Price underwent wrist surgery at the end of the 2019 season, while Eovaldi missed the majority of the year with elbow problems. Whilst Eovaldi is four years younger than Price, his injury history gives another huge question mark and is something that a transitional side like the Sox are going to be this coming year can’t afford to be gambling on.
Price didn’t have the best year in 2019. Missing significant time was to blame for this, as he built a 4.28 ERA through 22 starts. This isn’t exactly what you want from your $217 million pitcher, but that wasn’t him last season. That was the first season Price posted a season ERA of over 4.00 since the 2009 season.
Price has missed his fair share of starts through injuries, but he’s been great when healthy. The Red Sox could use this from another lefty and his experience is very valuable for the team going forward in transition and for any new players who’ll be coming up to Boston in that time.
If it doesn’t work out over the course of the next year or two, he can always be dealt. But who’s going to give up anything for a contract that size? Somebody could take a risk on Eovaldi at $17 million a year and you could even get something in return that would be a bonus.
I’m sure Bloom is shopping pretty much everyone that’s earning anything as we speak, but it’s important that the Sox hold on to a number of key players as they go forward.