The Boston Red Sox didn’t just extend a Qualifying Offer to Nathan Eovaldi last week.
Over the weekend, WEEI’s Rob Bradford reported that the front office also made him a multi-year offer.
Red Sox made multi-year offer to Nathan Eovaldi in addition to Qualifying Offer
This year, the Qualifying Offer is $19.65M. 14 players around the league received QOs, including Eovaldi and Xander Bogaerts. Bogaerts is all but guaranteed to decline. It would be a pay cut from the $20M salary he would have received if he hadn’t opted out of his contract, and most players who receive them end up declining; the QO system has been in effect since 2012, and to date, only 11 of the 110 offers have been accepted.
At 32 years old, Eovaldi could use his QO season to rebound from a rough 2022 and parlay that success into a more lucrative multi-year deal next offseason. Of course, he’d be taking a big risk; this year, he missed time due to injury, struggled to limit home runs, and displayed a reduced velocity, all causes for concern.
The Sox famously acquired Eovaldi at the 2018 trade deadline, and he immediately cemented himself as one of the greatest midseason acquisitions in franchise history. During that year’s postseason, he became a legend when he pitched several stunning innings in relief in what became the longest game in postseason history by innings and time. That offseason, the Sox gave him a four-year extension.
Over five years in Boston, Eovaldi has a 4.05 ERA across 96 regular-season games (84 starts). In 2022, he posted a 3.87 ERA over 20 starts, including two complete games and the first complete-game shutout of his 11-year career. However, he had a 4.6% home-run rate, the highest of his career in any season in which he threw more than 68 innings. He’s lowered his walk ratio significantly over the years; after walking 11.6% of batters faced in 2019, he’s only issued walks in 4.4% of plate appearances over the subsequent three seasons.
Eovaldi is beloved in Boston. Despite his injuries, he’s always been a workhorse, especially in the postseason. The question is, are the Sox risking tarnishing that legacy by trying to entice him to return?